FOXO3a is involved in the apoptosis of naked oocytes and oocytes of primordial follicles from neonatal rat ovaries.
ABSTRACT Inhibition of the forkhead transcription factor, FOXO3a, can promote the transition from primordial to primary follicle and subsequent follicle development in mammalian ovaries. Stem cell factor (SCF) initiates anti-apoptotic signaling from its membrane receptor, c-kit, to Bcl-2 family members through PI3K/AKT in oocytes of primordial follicles. However, whether FOXO3a mediates the apoptosis of naked oocytes and oocytes of primordial follicles remains unknown. In the present study, oocytes from nests and primordial follicles from neonatal rat ovaries were cultured, and oocyte apoptosis was examined using the TUNEL technique. The pro-apoptotic action of FOXO3a and the potential signal transduction pathways were investigated using RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunocytochemistry. Culturing oocytes in the presence of SCF did not affect the level of total FOXO3a protein, but rapidly elevated the level of phosphorylated FOXO3a (indicating functional suppression). As phosphorylated FOXO3a increased, oocyte apoptosis was inhibited. The specific PI3K/Akt inhibitor, LY 294002, abolished the phosphorylation of FOXO3a and the anti-apoptotic action of SCF. SCF down-regulated the expression of p27KIP1 and pro-apoptotic factors such as Bim, Bad, and Bax, and this activity was reversed by LY 294002. SCF up-regulated the expression of MnSOD, which was also inhibited by LY 294002. However, SCF had no effect on Bcl-2 protein. These results suggest that FOXO3a is involved in oocyte apoptosis in the neonatal rat ovary, and the SCF-PI3K/Akt-FOXO3a signaling pathway mediates oocyte apoptosis and primordial follicle formation.
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ABSTRACT: An N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea random mutation screen was used to identify recessive modifiers of gene silencing in the mouse using an epigenetically sensitive reporter transgene. One of the mutant lines, MommeR1, was identified as a suppressor of variegation and it showed female-specific age-associated infertility in homozygotes. Linkage analysis identified a region on chromosome 10, containing the Foxo3a gene, previously shown to play a critical role in female gametogenesis. Foxo3a is a transcription factor with roles in cell cycle control, apoptosis, neural and hematopoietic cell differentiation, and DNA repair. Sequencing of the Foxo3a gene in MommeR1 mice revealed a point mutation that causes an amino acid substitution in the highly conserved Forkhead DNA-binding domain. In vitro transcription assays showed that the point mutation causes loss of FOXO3a transactivation activity. Compound heterozygotes made with Foxo3a-null mice (carrying the targeted deletion of exon 2) displayed complementation with respect to both the activation of the reporter transgene and defects in folliculogenesis similar to those seen in MommeR1 homozygotes, supporting the conclusion that this is the causative mutation. Approximately one in six female MommeR1 homozygotes develop teratomas, a phenotype not reported in Foxo3a-null mice. Ovulated oocytes from MommeR1 homozygotes display a number of abnormalities. The MommeR1 mice provide a novel platform to investigate teratocarcinogenesis and link Foxo3a with parthenogenesis and ovarian cancer. The finding of Foxo3a as a modifier of epigenetic reprogramming is discussed.Mammalian Genome 02/2011; 22(3-4):235-48. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mesonephros is often regarded as a simplified version of the terminal renal organ, the metanephros. Both renal organs result from an epithelio-mesenchymal interaction between the Wolffian duct and the nephrogenic ridge. It appears that the epithelio-mesenchymal interaction makes use of similar signal cascades for both renal organs and that key events required for the development of the metanephros occur at earlier stages. In murine metanephroi, the stem cell factor (SCF)/-KIT-signal transduction pathway has recently been shown to regulate ureteric bud branching and epithelial cell differentiation. We immunohistochemically defined the time-sequence of KIT and SCF presence in both renal organs using bovine embryos/foetuses with crown rump length (CRL) of 1.7-24 cm. In the mesonephroi, epithelial cells with strong KIT staining were scattered in distal tubules, and SCF was expressed in the epithelial wall of corpuscles and proximal tubules. KIT positivity occurred in the metanephroi of embryos prior to SCF; KIT was predominantly localised at the ureteric bud tips in the nephrogenic zone. In foetuses of 13 cm and more CRL, the SCF/KIT profile of developmentally advanced nephrons mirrored the situation in the mesonephros. Epithelial cells with strong KIT staining were scattered in the cortical areas of distal tubules, while SCF was expressed in the epithelial wall of corpuscles and proximal tubules. Our morphological findings agree with a potential role of KIT at the ureteric bud tips and demonstrate a similar expression of KIT and SCF along the areas of developmentally advanced mesonephric and metanephric nephrons.Histochemie 02/2010; 133(4):417-24. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have proposed that the forkhead transcription factor FOXO3a is involved in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and that it may also repress follicular development by inducing cell cycle arrest in ovaries. We have recently demonstrated that FOXO3a induces oocyte apoptosis of neonatal rat ovaries under in vitro conditions. In the present study, we evaluated the role of FOXO3a in oocyte apoptosis under in vivo conditions. Ovaries from rats were obtained from newborns on postnatal day (PD) 1, 2, 3, and 4. TUNEL assay results showed that oocyte apoptosis occurred mainly on PD 1 and 2. Immunohistochemical staining of FOXO3a, Bim, Fas ligand (FasL), p27KIP1, caspase-8, and caspase-3 showed that they were all expressed mainly in naked oocytes on PD 1 and 2. The percentage of positive FOXO3a staining of oocytes reached peak levels in the ovaries of 2-day-old rats, which was consistent with the rate of the apoptotic profiles determined by TUNEL. The percentage between TUNEL-positive and FOXO3a-positive oocytes in the nucleus showed no statistical differences within the 4-day-old rat ovaries. Furthermore, the positive oocyte percentage of the target factors of FOXO3a (Bim, p27KIP1, and FasL) and pro-apoptotic proteins (caspase-3 and caspase-8) also reached peak levels in the ovaries of 2-day-old rats, which was similar to the rate of FOXO3a-positive oocytes. These results suggest that FOXO3a in the oocyte nucleus is involved in oocyte apoptosis; that is, FOXO3a-positive oocytes may be the apoptotic cells. To verify this, rat oocytes were subjected to TUNEL and immunofluorescent double-labeling assays. We found that TUNEL-positive cells were also FOXO3a-, Bim-, or FasL-positive. To identify the downstream target of FOXO3a, double immunofluorescent staining with antibodies to Bim and FasL was performed. We found that FOXO3a-positive cells were also Bim- and FasL-positive. We conclude that the overexpression of FOXO3a in the oocyte nucleus of neonatal rat ovaries may play an important role in the apoptosis of naked oocytes, and that Bim, FasL, and p27KIP1 are the key downstream factors of FOXO3a.Biochemistry and Cell Biology 08/2010; 88(4):621-8. · 2.92 Impact Factor