Infertility is a known major health concern and is estimated to impact ~15% of couples in the U.S. The majority of failed pregnancies occur before or during implantation of the fertilized embryo into the uterus. Understanding the mechanisms regulating development by studying mouse reproductive organs could significantly contribute to an improved understanding of normal development of reproductive organs and developmental causes of infertility in humans. Towards this goal, we report a three-dimensional (3D) imaging study of the developing mouse reproductive organs (ovary, oviduct, and uterus) using optical coherence tomography (OCT). In our study, OCT was used for 3D imaging of reproductive organs without exogenous contrast agents and provides micro-scale spatial resolution. Experiments were conducted in vitro on mouse reproductive organs ranging from the embryonic day 14.5 to adult stages. Structural features of the ovary, oviduct, and uterus are presented. Additionally, a comparison with traditional histological analysis is illustrated. These results provide a basis for a wide range of infertility studies in mouse models. Through integration with traditional genetic and molecular biology approaches, this imaging method can improve understanding of ovary, oviduct, and uterus development and function, serving to further contribute to our understanding of fertility and infertility.
Jason C. Burton, Shang Wang, Richard R. Behringer, and Irina V. Larina, "Three-dimensional imaging of the developing mouse female reproductive organs with optical coherence tomography," Proc. SPIE 9716, Optical Methods in Developmental Biology IV, 97160E (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 9 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213202.
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