Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research
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Human Ovary Tissue Bank

The Human Ovary Tissue Bank (HOTB) is located at the University of California, San Diego and serves to provide RNAase-free sections of normal and abnormal human ovaries to NIH-funded investigators or in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry experiments. These studies are commonly necessary to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical investigation and allow translational ovarian research to move forward. The approach to establishing this resource has included a meticulous examination of ovarian tissue so as to make available well characterized normal and abnormal human ovaries. Each specimen undergoes categorization according to the clinical circumstance in which it was obtained, corresponding historical information, uniform slide preparation, analysis of ovarian structural components by light microscopy, and determination of the suitability of tissue for research studies. The presence of suitable mRNA in the tissue is assessed by expression of LH receptor mRNA using in situ hybridization in adjacent tissues sections. The presence of suitable proteins is determined by detection of P450C17 using immunohistochemistry. These two end points for mRNA and protein quality control have been selected because all normal and abnormal ovaries that have been investigated to date contain interstitial tissue (theca nterstitial, secondary interstitial and/or theca lutein) which are strongly positive for LH receptor mRNA and P450C17 protein. The ovaries for the HOTB are collected from women 18-43 years of age who are undergoing routine gynecological surgery in two sites in San Diego, the UCSD and Kaiser Hospitals. This accrual process has succeeded through the cooperation of physicians, nurses, patients, and hospital staff personal under the auspices of institutional review and regulatory oversight. All tissues contained in the HOTB are deidentified according to specific and uniform procedures. It is planned to increase the volume of samples of adult and fetal ovaries to bolster the tissue supply from which investigators may obtain ovarian tissue for study. The HOTB is a very valuable tissue resource for the translation of basic ovary research to clinical medicine, assisting investigators in determining whether newly discovered genes are potentially important in the regulation of the human ovary. As such, the HOTB serves to facilitate the translation of basic science to clinical medicine with respect to the normal and abnormal physiology of the ovary, including fertility and infertility in women.

For more information, contact Dr. R. Jeffrey Chang (rjchang@ucsd.edu).