Ovulation in the mouse and other mammals is controlled by hormones secreted by the hypothalamo-pituitary-ovarian axis. We describe anovulation and infertility in female mice lacking the microRNAs miR-200b and miR-429. Both miRNAs are strongly expressed in the pituitary gland, where they suppress expression of the transcriptional repressor ZEB1. Eliminating these miRNAs, in turn, inhibits luteinizing hormone (LH) synthesis by repressing transcription of its β-subunit gene, which leads to lowered serum LH concentration, an impaired LH surge, and failure to ovulate. Our results reveal roles for miR-200b and miR-429, and their target the Zeb1 gene, in the regulation of mammalian reproduction. Thus, the hypothalamo-pituitary-ovarian axis was shown to require miR-200b and miR-429 to support ovulation.
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