Lane K. Christenson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Iowa State University, 1994

Research Focus

Ovarian function - MicroRNA mediated post-transcriptional gene – Vesicle meditated (exosome/microvesicle) cellular communication

Research Description

Fertility control is a major health concern for premenopausal women. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the terminal events involved in follicular development, ovulation and luteal tissue formation.  The studies have direct implications in development of a fertile healthy oocyte, contraception and disease conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and ovarian cancer.  Current studies focus on understanding the role of microRNA post-transcriptional gene regulation plays in the ovulatory process. The laboratory is also working to understand what role extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microvesicles) play in ovarian function (oocyte maturation, granulosa cell function) and in ovarian cancer.  These studies use the latest state of the art technologies, including next-gen-sequencing, nanoparticle analysis in addition to standard molecular and biochemical techniques.  The laboratory also uses a comparative approach using human, bovine and murine cells and animal studies in both cows and mice to gain further insights into the reproductive biology of the ovary.

Selected Recent Publications

Christenson LK, Gunewardena S, Hong X, Spitschak M, Baufeld A, Vanselow J.  Research resource: preovulatory LH surge effects on follicular theca and granulosa transcriptomes.  Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Jul;27(7):1153-71.

Fitzgerald JB, Chennathukuzhi V, Koohestani F, Nowak RA, Christenson LK. Role of microRNA-21 and programmed cell death 4 in the pathogenesis of human uterine leiomyomas. Fertil Steril. 2012 Sep;98(3):726-734.

Carletti MZ, Fiedler SD, Christenson LK. MicroRNA 21 blocks apoptosis in mouse periovulatory granulosa cells.  Biol Reprod. 2010 Aug 1;83(2):286-95.

Bansal A, Lee IH, Hong X, Mathur SC, Tawfik O, Rastogi A, Buttar N, Visvanathan M, Sharma P, Christenson LK. Discovery and validation of Barrett's esophagus microRNA transcriptome by next generation sequencing.  PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54240.


National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development HD061580 (RO1) and HD082484 (R21).

Last modified: Sep 02, 2014


Lane K. Christenson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

3075 HLSIC
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160

P: (913) 588-0420
F: (913) 588-7430