Int. J. Dev. Biol. 56: 959 - 967 (2012)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.120134jd
© UPV/EHU Press

Involvement of adipokines, AMPK, PI3K and the PPAR signaling pathways in ovarian follicle development and cancer

Joëlle Dupont*,1, Maxime Reverchon1, Lucie Cloix1,2, Pascal Froment1 and Christelle Ramé1

1Unité de Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, UMR85, Nouzilly, France and 2Service de médecine interne, diabétologie, endocrinologie CHRU Bretonneau, Tours, France

ABSTRACT The physiological mechanisms that control energy balance are reciprocally linked to those that control reproduction, and together, these mechanisms optimize reproductive success under fluctuating metabolic conditions. Adipose tissue plays an important role in this regulation. Indeed, it releases a variety of factors, termed adipokines that regulate energy metabolism, but also reproductive functions. This article summarizes the function and regulation of some better-characterized adipokines (leptin, adiponectin, resistin, visfatin, chemerin and apelin) involved in ovarian follicle development. The follicle appears to use various “nutrient sensing” mechanisms that may form the link between nutrient status and folliculogenesis. This review examines evidence for the presence of pathways that may sense nutrient flux from within the follicle including the PI3K/Akt pathway, adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase (AMPK), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). It also reviews current information on the role of these adipokines and signalling pathways in ovarian cancers.


metabolic sensor, ovarian tumorigenesis, follicle growth, granulosa cell, theca cell, oocyte

*Corresponding author e-mail: