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Intercellular communication during in vitro maturation of bovine cumulus oocyte complexes [Elektronische Ressource] /

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the concentrations of hyaluronan, E(2), and progesterone in follicular fluids (FFs) and the incidence of apoptotic granulosa cells. Also, to examine the relationship between the concentration of hyaluronan and follicular steroids, the incidence of apoptotic cells, and the fertilizability of the oocyte in the same follicle. DESIGN: Samples of 130 follicles were retrospectively analyzed for hyaluronan and steroids and the incidence of apoptotic cells. SETTING: The reproductive center in Yamagata University Hospital. PATIENT(S): Forty women infertile because of tubal damage or unknown causes undergoing IVF treatment were selected. INTERVENTION(S): The samples were collected from follicle aspirations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT(S): The concentrations of hyaluronan and steroids in FFs, the incidence of apoptotic granulosa cells, and oocyte fertilizability. RESULT(S): The levels of hyaluronan in FF were found to correlate positively with P (r=0.444, P<0.0001) and the incidence of apoptotic cumulus granulosa cells (r=0.387, P=0.002) and inversely with E(2) (r = -0.601, P<0.0001) and free T (r = -0.344, P=0.001). The concentration of hyaluronan in FFs containing a subsequently fertilized oocyte after insemination was significantly lower than that in FFs containing a subsequently unfertilized oocyte (P=0.0005) (fertilized, 50.0 +/- 2.6 ng/mL; triploidy, 59.1 +/- 6.8; and unfertilized, 66.9 +/- 5.9). CONCLUSION(S): The concentration of hyaluronan in FF is an indicator for estimation of oocyte viability for fertilization.
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Specific factors that mediate local cell-cell interactins in the ovary related to the initiation and progression of follicle development will be discussed. Recently, several factors produced locally by the primordial follicle have been shown to induce primordial follicle development from a quiescent state to promote follicle development. Kit lignad/stem cell factor (KL/SCF) produced by the immature granulosa cells appears to promote theca cell organization. Basic fibroblast growth factor produced predominately by the oocyte, but by all cells at recued levels, also was found to induce primordial follicle development similar to KL. It is likely that numerous locally produced factors will mediate cellular interactions and interact between each other to control the induction of primordial follicle development and influence processes such as the onset of puberty and menopause. After follicle development has been induced, theca cella and granulosa cells interact through classical mesenchymal-epithelial type interactins to influence the progressino of follicle development. Mesenchymally derived theca cells have been shown to produce transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-α), kerationocyte growth factor (KGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and transforming growth factor beta to regulate granulosa cell growth and function. The epithelial granulosa cells have been show to produce KL/SCF that can feed back on the theca cells to regulate theca cell growth and stimulate the production of the theca cell factors (TGF-α, KGF, and HGF). Theefore, a positive feedback loop between the theca cells and granulosa cells appears to exist to promote the dramatic cell growth required during folliculogenesis. Interestingly, hormones such as estrogen and gonadotropins stimulate the expression of these paracrine growth factors. Therefore, the actinos of hormones to stimulate follicle development and growth are mediated in part through altering these local cell-cell interactions. In summary, the locally produced paracrine factors that mediate cell-cell interactions involved in primordial follicle development and the progression of follicle development during folliculogenesis are starting to be elucidated.
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Transgenic mice with deletion of the GDF-9 (growth differentiation factor-9) gene are characterized by the arrest of ovarian follicle development at the primary stage. Based on the hypothesis that GDF-9 is important for early follicle development, we isolated rat GDF-9 complementary DNA (cDNA) and generated recombinant GDF-9 protein to study its physiological role. Using bacteria-derived GDF-9-glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein, specific antibodies to the mature form of GDF-9 was generated. Immunohistochemical staining of ovarian sections indicated the localization of GDF-9 protein in the oocyte of primary, secondary and preantral follicles, whereas immunoblotting demonstrated the secretion of GDF-9 by mammalian cells transfected with GDF-9 cDNAs. Recombinant GDF-9 was shown to be an N-glycosylated protein capable of stimulating early follicle development. Growth of preantral follicles isolated from immature rats was enhanced by treatment with either GDF-9 or FSH whereas the combined treatment showed an additive effect. In addition, treatment with GDF-9, like forskolin, also stimulated inhibin-α content in explants of neonatal ovaries. In contrast, the stimulatory effects of GDF-9 were not mimicked by amino-terminal tagged GDF-9 that was apparently not bioactive. Thus, the present study demonstrates the important role of GDF-9 in early follicle growth and differentiation. The availability of recombinant bioactive GDF-9 allows future studies on the physiological role of GDF-9 in ovarian development in vivo. Transgenic mice with deletion of the GDF-9 (growth differentiation factor-9) gene are characterized by the arrest of ovarian follicle development at the primary stage. Based on the hypothesis that GDF-9 is important for early follicle development, we isolated rat GDF-9 complementary DNA (cDNA) and generated recombinant GDF-9 protein to study its physiological role. Using bacteria-derived GDF-9-glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein, specific antibodies to the mature form of GDF-9 was generated. Immunohistochemical staining of ovarian sections indicated the localization of GDF-9 protein in the oocyte of primary, secondary and preantral follicles, whereas immunoblotting demonstrated the secretion of GDF-9 by mammalian cells transfected with GDF-9 cDNAs. Recombinant GDF-9 was shown to be an N-glycosylated protein capable of stimulating early follicle development. Growth of preantral follicles isolated from immature rats was enhanced by treatment with either GDF-9 or FSH whereas the combined treatment showed an additive effect. In addition, treatment with GDF-9, like forskolin, also stimulated inhibin-α content in explants of neonatal ovaries. In contrast, the stimulatory effects of GDF-9 were not mimicked by amino-terminal tagged GDF-9 that was apparently not bioactive. Thus, the present study demonstrates the important role of GDF-9 in early follicle growth and differentiation. The availability of recombinant bioactive GDF-9 allows future studies on the physiological role of GDF-9 in ovarian development in vivo.
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The development of ovarian follicles and subsequent corpus luteum formation is accompanied by very active angiogenesis. Ovarian granulosa cells produce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is a potent endothelial cell mitogen and an angiogenic agent. The complementary DNAs of two other factors structurally related to VEGF, namely VEGF-B and VEGF-C, were recently cloned, but little is known of their regulation in the ovary. We first studied the expression of the messenger RNAs (mRNAs) of the three VEGF isotypes in freshly isolated human granulosa-luteal (GL) cells obtained at oocyte retrieval for in vitro fertilization. The hormonal regulation of these mRNAs was subsequently studied in primary cultures of human GL cells. Analysis of cultured GL cell RNA by reverse transcription-PCR revealed that these cells express the alternatively spliced transcripts representing 121-, 145-, and 165-amino acid VEGF isoforms. Northern blot hybridization analyses indicated that transcripts of 4.5 and 3.7 kiloba...