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Biol Reprod. 2005 Aug;73(2):261-70. Epub 2005 Apr 6.

Expression and function of PAIRBP1 within gonadotropin-primed immature rat ovaries: PAIRBP1 regulation of granulosa and luteal cell viability.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Conneticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut 06030, USA.


The protein PAIRBP1, which was initially referred to as RDA288, is involved in mediating the antiapoptotic action of progesterone (P4) in spontaneously immortalized granulosa cells (SIGCs). The present studies were designed to assess the expression and function of PAIRBP1 in the different cell types within the immature rat ovary. Western blot analysis detected PAIRBP1 within whole-cell lysates of immature rat ovaries. Equine gonadotropin (eCG) induced a 3-fold increase in ovarian levels of PAIRBP1. Moreover, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), given 48 h after eCG, maintained these elevated levels for up to 4 days. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed this and further demonstrated that interstitial, thecal, and surface epithelial cells also expressed PAIRBP1. The level of PAIRBP1 in these cells was not influenced by gonadotropin treatment. In contrast, eCG stimulated an increase in PAIRBP1 within the granulosa cells of the developing follicles. Treatment with hCG induced ovulation and ultimately the formation of corpora lutea (CL). High levels of PAIRBP1 expression were also observed within the luteal cells. Immunocytochemical studies on living, nonpermeabilized granulosa and luteal cells revealed that some PAIRBP1 localized to the extracellular surface of these cells. The presence of PAIRBP1 on the extracellular surface was consistent with the observation that an antibody to PAIRBP1 attenuated P4's antiapoptotic action in both granulosa and luteal cells. Although the PAIRBP1 antibody attenuated P4's action, it did not reduce the capacity of cells to specifically bind (3)H-P4. Immunoprecipitation with the PAIRBP1 antibody pulled down the membrane P4 binding protein known as progesterone receptor membrane complex-1 (PGRMC1; rat homolog accession number AJ005837). Taken together, these findings suggest that gonadotropins regulate the expression of PAIRBP1 in granulosa and luteal cells and that PAIRBP1 plays an important role in mediating P4's antiapoptotic action in these ovarian cell types. The exact mechanism of PAIRBP1's action remains to be elucidated, but it may involve an interaction with PGRMC1.

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