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Studies of granulosa cell maturation in dominant and subordinate bovine follicles : novel extracellular matrix focimatrix is co-ordinately regulated with cholesterol side-chain cleavage CYP11A1

By Helen Irving-Rodgers, M. Lyn Harland, Thomas Sullivan and Raymond Rodgers


During growth of antral ovarian follicles granulosa cells first become associated with a novel type of extracellular matrix, focimatrix, and at larger sizes follicles become either subordinate or dominant. To examine this, bovine subordinate (9.0±s.e.m. 0.4 mm; n=16), partially dominant (12.0±0.6 mm; n=18) and fully dominant (15.0±0.4 mm; n=14) follicles were examined by real time RT-PCR analyses of granulosa cells and by immunohistochemistry of focimatrix. Changes in the expression of FSH receptor, LH receptor, cholesterol side-chain cleavage (CYP11A1), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, aromatase (CYP19A1) and inhibin-α and β-B were observed as expected for follicle sizes examined. After adjusting for size differences, only CYP11A1 was significantly different between the groups, and elevated in dominant follicles. Also after adjusting for differences in size there were no significant differences in expression of focimatrix components collagen type IV α-1 (COL4A1), laminin β-2, nidogen 1 (NID1), and perlecan (HSPG2) or the volume density of NID1 and -2 and HSPG2. The volume density of focimatrix components in laminin 111 was significantly elevated in dominant follicles. Adjusting for analysis of more than one follicle per animal and for multiple correlations, CYP11A1 mRNA levels were highly correlated with the focimatrix genes COL4A1, NID1 and -2 and HSPG2. Thus, focimatrix may potentially regulate CYP11A1 expression, and the regulation of both could be important in follicular dominance

Publisher: BioScientifica Ltd.
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1530/REP-08-0485
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