The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded animal sciences faculty members Anna Grazul-Bilska and Dale Redmer a $393,108 grant to research the role of an important regulator of blood vessel function in the ovary. Their project is titled “The role of nitric oxide (NO) system in ovarian function.”
A goal of the three-year grant is to enhance ovarian function in normal and nutritionally compromised females in order to obtain healthy eggs (oocytes), embryos and offspring. The nitric oxide system is one of the major regulators of blood vessel growth and function; therefore, it regulates delivery and outflow of nutrients, hormones and/or other regulatory factors to and from ovaries. During the project, this system will be modified with a specific amino acid (arginine) that is a precursor for nitric oxide formation. The study will help to determine if ovarian function can be altered through arginine supplementation to improve fertility in compromised females. Results from the research will address problems in both agricultural production practices and human health.