Reproductive and Developmental Medicine

REVIEW ARTICLE
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109--122

Functions of lysosomes in mammalian female reproductive system


Yuehuan Li1, Zidao Wang2, Christian L Andersen2, Xiaoqin Ye2 
1 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine; Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Correspondence Address:
Xiaoqin Ye
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 501 DW Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602; Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
USA

The lysosome is the most acidic membrane-bound intracellular organelle. Lysosomal acidity is primarily maintained by vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) and counter ion channels. There are >60 hydrolytic enzymes in the lysosome for its fundamental digestive role. Lysosomes also play important roles in endocytosis, exocytosis, autophagy, and cell death. Studies that have implicated roles of lysosomes in the female reproductive system are reviewed here. In the ovary, lysosomes are implicated in the preparation of free cholesterol for steroidogenesis and degradation of regulators of steroidogenesis, regulation of follicular atresia, follicle rupture during ovulation, luteal cell survival, and luteal regression. In the oviduct, lysosomes are involved in endocytosis of both serum and oviductal luminal components. In the uterus during the menstrual/estrous cycle, lysosomes are associated with endometrial secretion, apoptosis, and menstruation. In the uterus during early pregnancy, lysosomes are involved in the temporal and directional changes of endocytosis, uterine epithelial acidification upon embryo implantation initiation, and embryo-maternal mutual communications via extracellular vesicles. In the placenta, lysosomes are implicated in nutrient transport and placental separation from the uterus for parturition. In the mammary gland, lysosomes are important for mammary gland development and involution. These findings suggest/demonstrate functions of lysosomes in multiple processes of female reproduction, from ovulation to ovarian steroidogenesis for pregnancy maintenance, and from essential in utero nurturing of developing embryos/fetuses via embryo/fetal-maternal communications, to optional postpartum nurturing of newborns via lactation. Future studies using genetically or modified animal models and pharmacological approaches will provide novel insights into the functions and mechanisms of lysosomes in the mammalian female reproductive system.


How to cite this article:
Li Y, Wang Z, Andersen CL, Ye X. Functions of lysosomes in mammalian female reproductive system.Reprod Dev Med 2020;4:109-122


How to cite this URL:
Li Y, Wang Z, Andersen CL, Ye X. Functions of lysosomes in mammalian female reproductive system. Reprod Dev Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jul 31 ];4:109-122
Available from: https://www.repdevmed.org/article.asp?issn=2096-2924;year=2020;volume=4;issue=2;spage=109;epage=122;aulast=Li;type=0