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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2019 Jul 3:106371. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2019.06.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Expression of MTNR1A, steroid (ERα, ERβ, and PR) receptor gene transcripts, and the concentration of melatonin and steroid hormones in the ovarian follicles of buffalo.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar 125004, India.
2
Department of Veterinary Clinical Complex, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar 125004, India. Electronic address: dranandpandey@gmail.com.
3
Department of Animal Biotechnology, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar 125004, India.
4
Government of Veterinary Hospital, Jauljivi, Pithoragarh 262544, India.
5
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar 125004, India.

Abstract

High ambient temperature exhibits a retrograde effect on buffalo reproduction because of heat stress. Moreover, melatonin is known to regulate reproductive changes in seasonally reproductive animals by binding to high affinity, G protein-coupled receptors. The MTNR1A gene is a prime receptor, mediating the effect of melatonin at the neuroendocrine level to control seasonal reproduction. In sheep, the role of melatonin is well known; however, studies have not been conducted in buffalo to determine its effect during favorable and unfavorable breeding seasons. Therefore, the present study aimed to (1) determine the expression of MTNR1A, ERα, ERβ, and PR gene transcripts in the ovarian follicles of buffalo during the summer and winter seasons and (2) analyze melatonin, 17β-estradiol, and progesterone concentrations in the follicular fluid of buffalo during both seasons. Murrah buffalo ovaries were collected during both the summer (May-June) and winter (December-January) seasons. All visible ovarian follicles were allocated into one of three groups: (1) small (8-9.9 mm); (2) medium (10-11.9 mm); and (3) large (12-14 mm). Follicular fluid was aspirated from each group of follicles for hormone analyses. The granulosa cells were processed for RNA extraction. Furthermore, they were subjected to real-time quantitative PCR to analyze the expression (relative quantification) of MTNR1A, ERα, ERβ, and PR in each follicular group. The expression of MTNR1A gene transcript decreased with the increasing size of the follicle and intrafollicular melatonin concentration. Expression of ERα and PR remained unaffected by the season and was similar (P > 0.05) in all groups. Expression of ERβ was higher (P < 0.05) in summer than winter; nevertheless, small-sized follicles from the summer exhibited higher (P < 0.05) expressions than medium- and large-sized follicles. The overall intrafollicular melatonin concentration was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with 17β-estradiol and progesterone concentrations. In conclusion, the decreased expression of MTNR1A and increased concentration of intrafollicular melatonin with the increasing size of the follicle indicates a probable role in folliculogenesis and ovulation in buffalo.

KEYWORDS:

Buffalo; MTNR1A; Melatonin; Ovarian follicle; Steroid hormone

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