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Abstract #2321

Analysis of Ovarian Vascular Function in PKB[alpha]/Akt1- deficient Mice Using biotin-BSA-GdDTPA Enhanced 3D-MRI

Plaks V, Berkovitz E, Hemmings B, Dekel N, Neeman M
Weizmann Institute of Science

Angiogenesis plays a vital role in sustaining reproductive processes. PKB/Akt is known to act as a mediator of angiogenesis via the VEGF receptor/PI3K/PKB signaling cascade. This study focuses on the role of PKB in ovarian function and its implications on embryo implantation and overall fertility utilizing macromolecular contrast enhanced MRI to study ovarian vascular function in PKB knockout (KO) mice. MRI data analysis revealed reduced vessel density in KO ovaries as compared to WT. This observation along with the absence of spontaneous pregnancies in this model and the apparent reduced fertility after embryo transfer imply that ovarian function is perturbed.