"Richard Stouffer and his associates investigate the factors controlling the growth and ovulation of the mature follicle at midcycle, as well as development of the corpus luteum from the ovulatory follicle and its function until the end of the menstrual cycle or into early pregnancy. Studies on intact monkeys and research on isolated ovarian tissues and cells are unraveling the complex interaction between substances produced within the ovary (e.g., progesterone and angiogenic factors) and those coming from other organs (gonadotropins from the pituitary gland and placenta) in controlling the ovulatory follicle and corpus luteum.
Stouffer's discovery that progesterone-producing cells within the ovulatory follicle and corpus luteum also contain progesterone receptors led to research identifying an essential role for this steroid hormone within the ovary for follicle rupture and release of the egg, and for development of the corpus luteum. Additional studies are identifying the angiogenic factors (e.g., vascular endothelial growth factor, angiopoietin) that promote the unique development of blood vessels in the adult ovary during the menstrual cycle, and whether aberrant production of these factors is a cause of infertility disorders or side effects during assisted reproductive protocols. These investigations led to ongoing studies in collaboration with other researchers to evaluate the potential of antiprogestins, antiangiogenic agents and inhibitors of oocyte maturation or ovulation as contraceptives in preclinical trials on nonhuman primates.
Stouffer's group is also working with the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Laboratory and a multi-center Oncofertility Consortium to elucidate the hormonal and local factors critical for normal, timely development of the primate ovarian follicle and its enclosed egg.
This research is directly relevant to continued efforts to improve the clinical approaches to treating infertility and high-risk pregnancy, and to develop new methods of contraception. New information will also aid in the preservation of nonhuman primates through assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization."
Additionally, the Stouffer Lab studies the effects of androgens and Western-style diet on ovarian and uterine function, as part of the Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research (SCCPIR).
Stouffer, Richard L., Ph.D.
Role: Head of the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Physiology & Pharmacology
The Stouffer lab uses non-human primate models to investigate factors controlling the growth and ovulation of the mature follicle at midcycle, as well as development of the corpus luteum from the ovulatory follicle and its function until the end of the menstrual cycle or into early pregnancy.
Additionally, they aim to study the reproductive neuroendocrine effects of androgen (testosterone, T) and Western-Style Diet (WSD) in female monkeys from peri-puberty to prime reproductive age