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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 May 14;320(1-2):87-96. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2010.01.034. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Pig preovulatory oocytes modulate cumulus cell protein and gene expression in vitro.

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Swine Reproduction-Development Program, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


This study investigated the changes in protein and gene expression in oocytectomized cumulus cells (OOX) of medium-sized follicles from gilts, cultured with or without denuded oocytes isolated from large oestrogenic sow follicles. Proteomic analysis identified 14 proteins that were differentially expressed in OOX, of which the protein 14-3-3 eta, a signal transduction pathway modulator, was down-regulated in the presence of oocytes. Oocyte co-culture also down-regulated FSHR mRNA expression in OOX, as measured by real-time PCR, and FSHR and 14-3-3 eta mRNA abundance were positively correlated. The oocyte also up-regulated HSD3B mRNA, suggesting an effect on cumulus cell progesterone synthesis. Together with data on gene expression in granulosa cells during the follicular phase of the sow oestrous cycle, this study suggests that modulation of the expression of steroidogenesis related proteins and genes in cumulus cells by the porcine preovulatory oocyte reflects the specific physiological requirements of the preovulatory follicle.

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