GDF9 and BMP15 induce development of antrum-like structures by bovine granulosa cells without oocytes.
ABSTRACT: The role of oocytes in follicular antrum formation is not well understood. We examined the effect of oocyte-derived growth factors, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the formation of antrum-like structures by cultured bovine oocyte-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs). OGCs containing growing oocytes (105?115 µm in diameter) were collected from early antral follicles (1.2?1.8 mm) and used to prepare oocytectomized complexes (OXCs) and granulosa cell complexes (GCs). The mRNAs of GDF9 and BMP15 were expressed in the oocytes, but not in the granulosa cells. The complexes were cultured for five days with or without GDF9 and BMP15 either alone or in combination. The OGCs maintained their complex integrity and developed antrum-like structure, whereas OXCs and GCs neither maintained their integrity nor developed any antrum-like structure without growth factors. GDF9 or BMP15 alone increased the integrity of these complexes and induced antrum-like structures in OXCs and GCs. Moreover, the combination of GDF9 and BMP15 was more potent for both phenomena in all types of complexes. In OXCs and GCs cultured without GDF9 and BMP15 or with BMP15 alone, outgrowing granulosa cells differentiated into fibroblast-like cells. The combination of GDF9 and BMP15 suppressed the appearance of fibroblast-like cells in OXCs and GCs during incubation. Instead, the granulosa cells appeared rhomboid and pebble-like in shape, similar to those in OGCs cultured without supplementation of GDF9 and BMP15. These results suggest that oocytes maintain complex integrity by preventing granulosa cell differentiation and participate in follicular antrum formation via GDF9 and BMP15.
Project description:PURPOSE: To explore the effects of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) on the expression of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) in oocytes and granulosa cells from patients with or without polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). METHODS: This case-control study was conducted in the university affiliated hospital. The study comprised four groups of patients: eighteen PCOS patients with COS (stimulated-PCOS) and twenty-two PCOS patients without COS (unstimulated-PCOS), twenty-nine normal ovulatory women with COS (stimulated-control) and twenty-eight normal ovulatory women without COS (unstimulated-control). The oocytes and granulosa cells were collected and the abundance of GDF9 and BMP15 mRNA in the cells were detected by nested quantitative real-time PCR. RESULTS: The abundance of GDF9 and BMP15 mRNA was significantly higher both in oocytes (P < 0.01, P < 0.001, respectively) and GCs (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, respectively) from stimulated-control group than in unstimulated-control group. However, there was no significant difference for GDF9 or BMP15 mRNA in oocytes from stimulated-PCOS goup compared with unstimulated-PCOS group (P > 0.05, P > 0.05, respectively). The abundance of GDF9 mRNA was significantly lower (P < 0.01) while the abundance of BMP15 mRNA was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in GCs from stimulated-PCOS group than in unstimulated-PCOS group. CONCLUSIONS: The controlled ovarian stimulation can promote the expression of GDF9 and BMP15 both in oocytes and GCs from normal ovulatory women. However, the stimulating effects may be inhibited in oocytes from PCOS patients, which subsequently impair cytoplasm maturation and lead to poor oocyte quality.
Project description:PURPOSE: To assess the age-associated changes in oocytes and granulosa cells derived from early antral follicles (EAFs). METHOD: Gene expression analysis of granulosa cells of the EAFs using a genome analyzer (Illumina) and in vitro culture of oocyte-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) of EAFs (400-700 μm in diameter) collected from ovaries of aged (>120 months) and young (<50 months) cows. RESULTS: Gene expression profiles in granulosa cells of EAFs of aged cows, which included changes in genes that encode chaperone proteins and antioxidants. In vivo development of EAFs, as determined by oocyte diameter of EAFs and AFs (3-6 mm in diameter), appeared to be impaired in aged cows and the OGCs of aged cows contained low GSH compared to younger counterparts. When the OGCs were cultured in a medium containing low estradiol (E2, 0.1 μg/mL), the ratio of antrum formation was higher for OGCs from aged animals than that from young animals, while higher abnormal fertilization rate and lower total cell number of the blastocysts were observed in the OGCs of aged cows compared with those of young cows. On the contrary, when the OGCs were cultured in a medium containing 10 μg/mL E2, the ratio of antrum formation and fertilization outcome was comparable between the two age groups, whereas the total cell number of the blastocysts was still low in the aged group. CONCLUSION: Aging affects the gene expression profiles of the granulosa cells, and impairs in vitro developmental ability of OGCs collected from EAFs.
Project description:Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) are oocyte-specific growth factors with central roles in mammalian reproduction, regulating species-specific fecundity, ovarian follicular somatic cell differentiation, and oocyte quality. In the human, GDF9 is produced in a latent form, the mechanism of activation being an open question. Here, we produced a range of recombinant GDF9 and BMP15 variants, examined their in silico and physical interactions and their effects on ovarian granulosa cells (GC) and oocytes. We found that the potent synergistic actions of GDF9 and BMP15 on GC can be attributed to the formation of a heterodimer, which we have termed cumulin. Structural modeling of cumulin revealed a dimerization interface identical to homodimeric GDF9 and BMP15, indicating likely formation of a stable complex. This was confirmed by generation of recombinant heterodimeric complexes of pro/mature domains (pro-cumulin) and covalent mature domains (cumulin). Both pro-cumulin and cumulin exhibited highly potent bioactivity on GC, activating both SMAD2/3 and SMAD1/5/8 signaling pathways and promoting proliferation and expression of a set of genes associated with oocyte-regulated GC differentiation. Cumulin was more potent than pro-cumulin, pro-GDF9, pro-BMP15, or the two combined on GC. However, on cumulus-oocyte complexes, pro-cumulin was more effective than all other growth factors at notably improving oocyte quality as assessed by subsequent day 7 embryo development. Our results support a model of activation for human GDF9 dependent on cumulin formation through heterodimerization with BMP15. Oocyte-secreted cumulin is likely to be a central regulator of fertility in mono-ovular mammals.
Project description:Follicle development is accompanied by proliferation of granulosa cells and increasing oocyte size. To obtain high-quality oocytes in vitro, it is important to understand the processes that occur in oocytes and granulosa cells during follicle development and the differences between in vivo and in vitro follicle development. In the present study, oocytes and granulosa cells were collected from early antral follicles (EAFs, 0.5-0.7 mm in diameter), small antral follicles (SAFs, 1-3 mm in diameter), large antral follicles (LAFs, 3-7 mm in diameter), and in vitro grown oocyte-and-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs), which were cultured for 14 days after collection from EAFs. Gene expression was analyzed comprehensively using the next-generation sequencing technology. We found top upstream regulators during the in vivo follicle development and compared them with those in in vitro developed OGCs. The comparison revealed that HIF1 is among the top regulators during both in vivo and in vitro development of OGCs. In addition, we found that HIF1-mediated upregulation of glycolysis in granulosa cells is important for the growth of OGCs, but the cellular metabolism differs between in vitro and in vivo grown OGCs. Furthermore, on the basis of comparison of upstream regulators between in vivo and in vitro development of OGCs, we believe that low expression levels of FLT1 (VEGFA receptor), SPP1, and PCSK6 can be considered causal factors of the suboptimal development under in vitro culture conditions.
Project description:LH triggers the maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex (COC), which is followed by ovulation. These ovarian follicular responses to LH are mediated by epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factors produced by granulosa cells and require the participation of oocyte-derived paracrine factors. However, it is not clear how oocytes coordinate with the EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling to achieve COC maturation. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that oocytes promote the expression of EGFR by cumulus cells, thus enabling them to respond to the LH-induced EGF-like peptides. Egfr mRNA and protein expression were dramatically reduced in cumulus cells of mutant mice deficient in the production of the oocyte-derived paracrine factors growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15). Moreover, microsurgical removal of oocytes from wild-type COCs dramatically reduced expression of Egfr mRNA and protein, and these levels were restored by either coculture with oocytes or treatment with recombinant GDF9 or GDF9 plus recombinant BMP15. Blocking Sma- and Mad-related protein (SMAD)2/3 phosphorylation in vitro inhibited Egfr expression in wild-type COCs and in GDF9-treated wild-type cumulus cells, and conditional deletion of Smad2 and Smad3 genes in granulosa cells in vivo resulted in the reduction of Egfr mRNA in cumulus cells. These results indicate that oocytes promote expression of Egfr in cumulus cells, and a SMAD2/3-dependent pathway is involved in this process. At least two oocyte-derived growth factors, GDF9 and BMP15, are required for EGFR expression by cumulus cells.
Project description:Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is thought to reflect the growth of follicles and the ovarian function. However, the role of AMH in culture medium during in vitro maturation (IVM) on oocyte quality and subsequent development potential is unclear. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of recombinant human AMH (rh-AMH) supplemented into IVM medium on oocyte quality. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were obtained from ICR mice and cultured in vitro with the different concentrations (0-1,000 ng/ml) of rh-AMH. Following 16-18 h of culture, quantitative PCR and ELISA were performed to analyze GDF9 and BMP15 mRNA expression and protein production from the oocytes. Subsequently, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and early embryonic development were employed to further evaluate the quality of in vitro matured oocytes. The results showed that AMH was only expressed in cumulus cells but not in the oocytes. However, AMH most specific receptor, AMHR-II, was expressed in both oocytes and cumulus cells. The levels of GDF9 and BMP15 expression and blastocyst formation rate were significantly increased (p<0.05) when the IVM medium was supplemented with 100 ng/ml of rh-AMH. With AdH1-SiRNA/AMH for knocking down of AMH expression during IVM significantly reduced (p<0.05) the levels of GDF9 and BMP15 expression and blastocysts formation rate. These results suggest that AHM improves oocytes quality by up-regulating GDF9 and BMP15 expressions during IVM.
Project description:The present study has evaluated the association of growth differentiation factor9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein15 (BMP15) mRNA expression in cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) of buffalo ovary during in vitro maturation (IVM). GDF9 and BMP15 are expressed specifically in mammalian oocytes and also participate in cumulus-oocyte crosstalk. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) technique was applied to investigate the relative abundance (RA) of GDF9 and BMP15 mRNA transcripts throughout the IVM process. Relative mRNA expression pattern of these specific genes were assessed in oocytes and cumulus cells at 0, 6, 12 and 24 h of in vitro culture. Our results revealed that RA of GDF9 during different hours of IVM showed significant reduction between 0 h and 24 h of maturation in oocytes and BMP15 transcript increased significantly (P<0.05) between 6 h and 12 h and decreased again between 12 h and 24. In cumulus cells, GDF9 remained stable during IVM upto 12 h of maturation and decreased significantly between 12 h and 24 h of maturation. Conversely, significant reduction of BMP15 was observed between 0 h and 6 h, stayed stable upto 12 h and became undetectable at 24 h of maturation. In conclusion, these two genes were differentially expressed during the period of oocyte maturation process and notably, BMP15 expression pattern is associated specifically with the period of cumulus cell expansion.
Project description:The TGF-? superfamily is the largest family of secreted proteins in mammals, and members of the TGF-? family are involved in most developmental and physiological processes. Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), oocyte-secreted paralogs of the TGF-? superfamily, have been shown genetically to control ovarian physiology. Although previous studies found that GDF9 and BMP15 homodimers can modulate ovarian pathways in vitro, the functional species-specific significance of GDF9:BMP15 heterodimers remained unresolved. Therefore, we engineered and produced purified recombinant mouse and human GDF9 and BMP15 homodimers and GDF9:BMP15 heterodimers to compare their molecular characteristics and physiological functions. In mouse granulosa cell and cumulus cell expansion assays, mouse GDF9 and human BMP15 homodimers can up-regulate cumulus expansion-related genes (Ptx3, Has2, and Ptgs2) and promote cumulus expansion in vitro, whereas mouse BMP15 and human GDF9 homodimers are essentially inactive. However, we discovered that mouse GDF9:BMP15 heterodimer is ?10- to 30-fold more biopotent than mouse GDF9 homodimer, and human GDF9:BMP15 heterodimer is ?1,000- to 3,000-fold more bioactive than human BMP15 homodimer. We also demonstrate that the heterodimers require the kinase activities of ALK4/5/7 and BMPR2 to activate SMAD2/3 but unexpectedly need ALK6 as a coreceptor in the signaling complex in granulosa cells. Our findings that GDF9:BMP15 heterodimers are the most bioactive ligands in mice and humans compared with homodimers explain many puzzling genetic and physiological data generated during the last two decades and have important implications for improving female fertility in mammals.
Project description:This study tested the hypothesis that oocyte-derived paracrine factors (ODPFs) regulate miRNA expression in mouse granulosa cells. Expression of mmu-miR-322-5p (miR-322) was higher in mural granulosa cells (MGCs) than in cumulus cells of the Graafian follicles. The expression levels of miR-322 decreased when cumulus cells or MGCs were co-cultured with oocytes denuded of their cumulus cells. Inhibition of SMAD2/3 signaling by SB431542 increased miR-322 expression by cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs). Moreover, the cumulus cells but not the MGCs in Bmp15(-/-)/Gdf9(+/-) (double-mutant) mice exhibited higher miR-322 expression than those of wild-type mice. Taken together, these results show that ODPFs suppress the expression of miR-322 in cumulus cells. Gene ontology analysis of putative miR-322 targets whose expression was detected in MGCs with RNA-sequencing suggested that multiple biological processes are affected by miR-322 in MGCs. These results demonstrate that ODPFs regulate miRNA expression in granulosa cells and that this regulation may participate in the differential control of cumulus cell versus MGC functions. Therefore, the ODPF-mediated regulation of cumulus cells takes place at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.
Project description:Mitochondrial numbers increase during oocyte growth. In this study, we collected oocytes and granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) from early antral follicles (EAFs) of aged cows (> 120 months of age) and examined the effects of resveratrol on mitochondrial generation, degradation, and quality in oocytes grown in vitro. We also examined the effects of resveratrol on gene expression of the granulosa cells. Resveratrol (20 µM) enhanced the expression of SIRT1 and induced autophagy in both granulosa cells and oocytes derived from aged cows. Culturing the OGCs with resveratrol increased mitochondrial DNA copy numbers in oocytes grown in vitro. Furthermore, resveratrol increased the ATP content in oocytes and improved the developmental ability of the oocytes to the blastocyst stage. Gene expression profiles in granulosa cells, as evaluated by next-generation sequencing technology, revealed that resveratrol enhanced the expression of EIF2-related genes but downregulated the expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-, inflammation-, and cholesterol homeostasis-related genes in granulosa cells. In conclusion, resveratrol affected both oocytes and granulosa cells derived from aged cows and improved the quality of oocytes grown in vitro through upregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and degradation in growing oocytes and conditioning of granulosa cells.