In many different types of mammals and humans, the reproductive cells of the female, the oocytes or eggs, require nourishment in an effort to remain and grow fertile. It is also known that the egg receives its food from tiny arm-like feeding tubes called filopodia that protrudes out from tiny cells which surround the egg and need to poke through a thick wall the coats the egg in a bid to feed it. Until now, scientists did not really comprehend as to how and when those feeding tubes were constructed.
Eggs Come with Sophisticated Communication Skills
A team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is led by scientist Dr. Hugh Clarke and it has figured out as to who calls the shots when the growing eggs are hungry, how the cell-to-cell message is conveyed and how the feeding tubes are generated all by themselves. It has turned out that the egg is in charge and it comes with highly sophisticated communication skills. Eggs gives out signals to the tiny surrounding cells to produce the feeding tubes when it’s mealtime for them and as it grows and needs more and more nourishment, it send signals to them so as to produce even more tubes.
The study also discovered that various factors of growth particularly the one that is known as growth differentiation factor 9, that coming from the eggs drive the multiplication of feeding tube and process of growth thereby acting directly upon the genetic machinery of the follicle cells which surround the egg. These discoveries have turned the spotlight directly on the egg itself, stated Dr. Clarke.
He also mentioned that understanding of how the eggs interact with its environment will enable us to ensure that growing eggs would retain their fertility.
These study findings which push for the scope of our understanding pertaining to female fertility, has been published on the print edition of Current Biology.