Changes in expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), their receptors and inhibin co-receptor betaglycan during bovine antral follicle development: inhibin can antagonize the suppressive effect of BMPs on thecal androgen production
Glister, C., Satchell, L. and Knight, P. G. (2010) Changes in expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), their receptors and inhibin co-receptor betaglycan during bovine antral follicle development: inhibin can antagonize the suppressive effect of BMPs on thecal androgen production. Reproduction, 140 (5). pp. 699-712. ISSN 1470-1626
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1530/REP-10-0216
We reported previously that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) potently suppress CYP17 expression and androgen production by bovine theca interna cells (TC) in vitro. In this study, real-time PCR was used to analyse gene expression in TC and granulosa cell (GC) layers from developing bovine antral follicles (1-18 mm). Abundance of mRNA transcripts for four BMPs (BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, and BMP7) and associated type I (BMPR1A, BMPR1B, ACVR1 and ACVR1B) and type II (BMPR2, ACVR2A and ACVR2B) receptors showed relatively modest, though significant, changes during follicle development. BMP2 was selectively expressed in GC, while BMP6, BMP7 and betaglycan (TGFBR3) were more abundant in TC. Abundance of betaglycan mRNA (inhibin co-receptor) in TC increased progressively (fivefold; P<0.001) as follicles grew from 1-2 to 9-10 mm. This suggests a shift in thecal responsiveness to GC-derived inhibin, produced in increasing amounts as follicles achieve dominance. This prompted us to investigate whether inhibin can function as a physiological antagonist of BMP action on bovine TC in vitro, in a manner comparable to that for activin signalling. BMP4, BMP6 and BMP7 abolished LH-induced androstenedione secretion and suppressed CYP17 mRNA >200-fold (P<0.001), while co-treatment with inhibin-A reversed the suppressive action of BMP in each case (P<0.001). Results support a physiological role for granulosa-derived inhibin as an antagonist of BMP action on thecal androgen synthesis. A shift in intrafollicular balance between thecal BMP signalling (inhibitory for androgen synthesis) and betaglycan-dependent inhibin signalling (stimulatory for androgen synthesis) accords with the physiological requirement to deliver an adequate supply of aromatase substrate to GC of developing follicles.