Evidence for an inhibitory role of bone morphogenetic protein(s) in the follicular-luteal transition in cattle
Kayani, A. R., Glister, C. and Knight, P. G. (2009) Evidence for an inhibitory role of bone morphogenetic protein(s) in the follicular-luteal transition in cattle. Reproduction, 137 (1). pp. 67-78. ISSN 1470-1626
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1530/rep-08-0198
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and their receptors are expressed in ovarian theca cells (TC) and granulosa cells (GC) and BMPs have been implicated in the regulation of several aspects of follicle development including thecal androgen production and granulosal oestrogen production. Their potential involvement in luteal function has received less attention. in this study, we first compared relative abundance of mRNA transcripts for BMPs, activin-beta A and BMP/activin receptors in bovine corpus luteum (CL) and follicular theca and granulosa layers before undertaking functional in vitro experiments to test the effect of selected ligands (BMP6 and activin A) on luteinizing bovine TC and GC. Relative to P-actin transcript abundance, CL tissue contained more BMP4 and -6 mRNA than granulosa, more BMP2 mRNA than theca but much less activin-beta A mRNA than both granulosa and theca. Transcripts for all seven BMP/activin receptors were readily detected in each tissue and two transcripts (BMPRII, ActRIIA) were more abundant in CL than either theca or granulosa, consistent with tissue responsiveness. In vitro luteinization of TC and GC from antral follicles (4-6 mm) was achieved by culturing with 5% serum for 6 days. Treatment with BMP6 (0, 2, 10, and 50 ng/ml) and activin A (0, 2, 10 and 50 ng/ml) under these conditions dose-dependently suppressed forskolin-induced progesterone (P-4) secretion from both cell types without affecting cell number. BMP6 reduced forskolin-stimulated upregulation of STAR mRNA and raised 'basal' CYP17A1 mRNA level in theca-lutein cells without affecting expression of CYP11A1 or hydroxy-Delta-5-steroid dehydrogenase, 3 beta- and steroid Delta-isomerase 1 (HSD3B1). In granulosa-lutein cells, STAR transcript abundance was not affected by BMP6, whereas forskolin-induced expression of CYP11A1, HSD3B1, CYP19A1 and oxytocin transcripts was reduced. In both cell types, follistatin attenuated the suppressive effect of activin A and BMP6 on forskolin-induced P4 secretion but had no effect alone. Granulosa-lutein cells secreted low levels of endogenous activin A (similar to 1 ng/ml); BMP6 reduced this, while raising follistatin secretion thus decreasing activin A:follistatin ratio. Collectively, these findings support inhibitory roles for BMP/activin signalling in luteinization and steroidogenesis in both TC and GC.