Research Article

Gene expression in swine granulosa cells and ovarian tissue during the estrous cycle

Abstract

The components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system appear to be involved in regulation of ovarian follicular growth and atresia in the pig. We investigated the expression pattern of mRNAs for IGF1 (IGF1), its binding proteins (IGFBP1, IGFBP2, IGFBP3, and IGFBP5), and epidermal growth factor in swine follicle cells and ovarian tissue throughout the estrous cycle using the real-time quantitative PCR technique. The results of gene expression were analyzed using linear regression with gene expression as a dependent variable and days of estrous cycle as an independent variable. Additionally, an analysis was made of the correlation of expression levels with plasma concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol-17β, progesterone, and prolactin. Expression of mRNA of all of these genes was detected in granulosa cells and ovarian tissue. IGFBP3 mRNA showed a quadratic expression pattern (P ≤ 0.001) and was significantly and positively correlated with progesterone (r = 0.81; P ≤ 0.01) but negatively correlated with prolactin (r = -0.596; P ≤ 0.05). Expression of the other genes was unaffected by the stage of the estrous cycle. Real-time quantitative PCR effectively detected all transcripts, including the very low levels of IGFBP1 transcripts, and could be used for studies of follicle dynamics.

The components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system appear to be involved in regulation of ovarian follicular growth and atresia in the pig. We investigated the expression pattern of mRNAs for IGF1 (IGF1), its binding proteins (IGFBP1, IGFBP2, IGFBP3, and IGFBP5), and epidermal growth factor in swine follicle cells and ovarian tissue throughout the estrous cycle using the real-time quantitative PCR technique. The results of gene expression were analyzed using linear regression with gene expression as a dependent variable and days of estrous cycle as an independent variable. Additionally, an analysis was made of the correlation of expression levels with plasma concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol-17β, progesterone, and prolactin. Expression of mRNA of all of these genes was detected in granulosa cells and ovarian tissue. IGFBP3 mRNA showed a quadratic expression pattern (P ≤ 0.001) and was significantly and positively correlated with progesterone (r = 0.81; P ≤ 0.01) but negatively correlated with prolactin (r = -0.596; P ≤ 0.05). Expression of the other genes was unaffected by the stage of the estrous cycle. Real-time quantitative PCR effectively detected all transcripts, including the very low levels of IGFBP1 transcripts, and could be used for studies of follicle dynamics.