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Mol Reprod Dev. 2008 Sep;75(9):1457-72. doi: 10.1002/mrd.20883.

Regulation of granulosa and theca cell transcriptomes during ovarian antral follicle development.

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Center for Reproductive Biology, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4231, USA.


Coordinated interactions between ovarian granulosa and theca cells are required for female endocrine function and fertility. To elucidate these interactions the regulation of the granulosa and theca cell transcriptomes during bovine antral follicle development were investigated. Granulosa cells and theca cells were isolated from small (<5 mm), medium (5-10 mm), and large (>10 mm) antral bovine follicles. A microarray analysis of 24,000 bovine genes revealed that granulosa cells and theca cells each had gene sets specific to small, medium and large follicle cells. Transcripts regulated (i.e., minimally changed 1.5-fold) during antral follicle development for the granulosa cells involved 446 genes and for theca cells 248 genes. Only 28 regulated genes were common to both granulosa and theca cells. Regulated genes were functionally categorized with a focus on growth factors and cytokines expressed and regulated by the two cell types. Candidate regulatory growth factor proteins mediating both paracrine and autocrine cell-cell interactions include macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP1 beta), teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor 1 (TDGF1), stromal derived growth factor 1 (SDF1; i.e., CXCL12), growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8), glia maturation factor gamma (GMFG), osteopontin (SPP1), angiopoietin 4 (ANGPT4), and chemokine ligands (CCL 2, 3, 5, and 8). The current study examined granulosa cell and theca cell regulated genes associated with bovine antral follicle development and identified candidate growth factors potentially involved in the regulation of cell-cell interactions required for ovarian function.

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