Transcriptome Profiling of the Theca Interna from bovine ovarian follicles during atresia

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Hatzirodos, Nicholas
Irving-Rodgers, Helen F
Hummitzsch, Katja
Rodgers, Raymond J
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2014
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Abstract

The theca interna is a specialized stromal layer that envelops each growing ovarian follicle. It contains capillaries, fibroblasts, immune cells and the steroidogenic cells that synthesize androgens for conversion to estradiol by the neighboring granulosa cells. During reproductive life only a small number of follicles will grow to a sufficient size to ovulate, whereas the majority of follicles will undergo regression/atresia and phagocytosis by macrophages. To identify genes which are differentially regulated in the theca interna during follicular atresia, we undertook transcriptome profiling of the theca interna from healthy (n = 10) and antral atretic (n = 5) bovine follicles at early antral stages (<5 mm). Principal Component Analyses and hierarchical classification of the signal intensity plots for the arrays showed primary clustering into two groups, healthy and atretic. A total of 543 probe sets were differentially expressed between the atretic and healthy theca interna. Further analyses of these genes by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and Gene Ontology Enrichment Analysis Toolkit software found most of the genes being expressed were related to cytokines, hormones and receptors as well as the cell cycle and DNA replication. Cell cycle genes which encode components of the replicating chromosome complex and mitotic spindle were down-regulated in atretic theca interna, whereas stress response and inflammation-related genes such as TP53, IKBKB and TGFB1 were up-regulated. In addition to cell cycle regulators, upstream regulators that were predicted to be inhibited included Retinoblastoma 1, E2 transcription factor 1, and hepatocyte growth factor. Our study suggests that during antral atresia of small follicles in the theca interna, arrest of cell cycle and DNA replication occurs rather than up- regulation of apoptosis-associated genes as occurs in granulosa cells.

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PLoS One

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9

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6

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© 2014 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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Animal physiology - cell

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