There is increasing evidence to indicate that a substantial number of both man-made and naturally occurring chemicals are disruptive to human and wildlife reproductive health. Currently, reproductive toxicology testing is primarily carried out in vivo, however, in the past 50 years, various culture methods have been developed with the aim of growing ovarian follicles in vitro. These culture systems have become a widely used tool in reproductive biology and toxicology. In this review we describe how reproductive toxicology of the ovary is greatly enhanced by in vitro studies. Experiments using in vitro ovarian cultures to understand or detect damage to the ovary itself and to its specialised structures of the follicles and oocytes, allows for faster screening of potential developmental and/or reproductive toxicants.
- tissue culture
- in vitro