Transcriptomal profiling of bovine ovarian granulosa and theca interna cells in primary culture in comparison with their in vivo counterparts
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In vitro culture of ovarian granulosa cells and theca cells has been very important for our understanding of their function and regulation. One of the most eagerly sought attributes of cell culture is the use of chemically-defined conditions. However, even under such in vitro conditions cell behaviour could differ from the in vivo situation because of differences in oxygen tension, nutrients, adhesion matrix and other factors. To examine this further we compared the transcriptomes of both granulosa cells and cells from the theca interna that were cultured in what are arguably the best in vitro conditions for maintaining the ‘follicular’ phenotypes of both tissue types, as displayed by their respective freshly-isolated counterparts. The array data analysed are from recently published data and use the same sizes of bovine follicles (small antral 3–6 mm) and the same Affymetrix arrays. We conducted analysis using Partek, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and GOEAST. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering clearly separated the in vivo from the in vitro groups for both cells types and transcriptomes were more homogeneous upon culture. In both cell cultures behaviours associated with cell adhesion, migration and interaction with matrix or substrate were more abundant. However, the pathways involved generally differed between the two cell types. With the thecal cultures a gene expression signature of an immune response was more abundant, probably by leukocytes amongst the cells cultured from the theca interna. These results indicate differences between in vivo and in vitro that should be considered when interpreting in vitro data.
© 2017 Hatzirodos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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