For citation purposes: Usongo M. Canonical Wnt signalling in mouse ovarian surface epithelium. OA Biology 2013 Nov 01;1(1):3.



Canonical Wnt signalling in mouse ovarian surface epithelium

M Usongo

Authors affiliations

(1) Departments of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada

(2) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, F344 Royal Victoria Hospital, 687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, H3A 1A1, Canada

* Corresponding author Email:



The gonad arises from the thickening of the coelomic epithelium and then commits into the sex determination process. The Wnts are a family of glycoprotein signalling molecules known mostly for the roles they play in embryonic and ovarian development. Canonical Wnt signalling leads to intracellular accumulation of the multifunctional protein β-catenin which can interact with members of the T-cell factor family to modulate gene transcription. In reviewing the current understanding of ovarian surface epithelium development in the literature, we highlight some previous studies and discuss some of the recent mouse models that have contributed to the understanding of ovarian surface epithelium differentiation.


Taking into account the recent emergence of studies examining Wnt signalling in ovary development and ovarian cancer, the current data suggest that mouse ovarian surface epithelium is heterogeneous in Wnt signalling and may contain a population of stem/progenitor cells that are needed to generate the definitive ovarian surface epithelium and allow wound repair of this tissue at ovulation. This hypothesis warrants further investigation and may open up new directions of exploration using the mouse as a model for ovarian surface epithelium development.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)