Differential expression of Toll-like receptors in goat dominant and nondominant follicles.
The mechanism of dominant follicle selection is unclear because of its physiological complexity. However, some studies have reported that the immune system plays an important role in reproductive physiology. The objective of the current study was to investigate the differential expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the dominant (DFs) and nondominant follicles (NFs), and to determine the correlation between the expression of TLRs and the related genes, such as WNT4 and FOXL2. In this comparative study, the expression levels of TLRs, WNT4, and FOXL2 genes of DFs and NFs were obtained from three Dazu black goats were estimated using the real-time PCR. Our results showed no significant difference in the expression of seven TLRs (excluding TLR2, TLR5, and TLR8), WNT4, and FOXL2 between the DFs and NFs. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of WNT4 significantly correlated with the relative expression of TLR6 (r = 0.949739, P < 0.01); however, no significant expression of the TLR genes was found to be associated with FOXL2 mRNA expression. Our results support the fact that TLRs are not involved in the process of dominant follicle selection; however, TLR6 might play a role in the development of follicles by interacting with WNT4.