The preovulatory follicle in response to gonadotropin surge undergoes dramatic biochemical, and morphological changes orchestrated by expression changes in hundreds of genes. Employing well characterized bovine preovulatory follicle model, granulosa cells (GCs) and follicle wall were collected from the preovulatory follicle before, 1, 10 and 22 h post peak LH surge. Microarray analysis performed on GCs revealed that 450 and 111 genes were differentially expressed at 1 and 22 h post peak LH surge, respectively. For validation, qPCR and immunocytochemistry analyses were carried out for some of the differentially expressed genes. Expression analysis of many of these genes showed distinct expression patterns in GCs and the follicle wall. To study molecular functions and genetic networks, microarray data was analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis which revealed majority of the differentially expressed genes to cluster within processes like steroidogenesis, cell survival and cell differentiation. In the ovarian follicle, IGF-I is established to be an important regulator of the above mentioned molecular functions. Thus, further experiments were conducted to verify the effects of increased intrafollicular IGF-I levels on the expression of genes associated with the above mentioned processes. For this purpose, buffalo cows were administered with exogenous bGH to transiently increase circulating and intrafollicular concentrations of IGF-I. The results indicated that increased intrafollicular concentrations of IGF-I caused changes in expression of genes associated with steroidogenesis (StAR, SRF) and apoptosis (BCL-2, FKHR, PAWR). These results taken together suggest that onset of gonadotropin surge triggers activation of various biological pathways and that the effects of growth factors and peptides on gonadotropin actions could be examined during preovulatory follicle development.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 20-June-2011
Author(s): Rao J., Shah K., Puttaiah J., Rudraiah M.