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Biol Reprod. 1997 Jan;56(1):59-66.

C-type natriuretic peptide and the guanylyl cyclase receptors in the rat ovary are modulated by the estrous cycle.

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Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biochemistry, Centre de Recherche Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal and Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


We have previously shown that rat ovaries synthesize atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and express the cognate guanylyl cyclase (GC-A and GC-B) receptors for ANP. Since another natriuretic peptide, termed the C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), can also interact with these receptors, we have investigated whether rat ovaries express CNP and if so, whether the concentration of this natriuretic peptide and the guanylyl-cyclase receptors are influenced by the estrous cycle. CNP mRNA was detected in rat ovaries using a reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategy. RIA of ovarian extracts, obtained at the individual days of the estrous cycle, revealed the presence of immunoreactive CNP. The highest levels of CNP were detected at proestrus and were approximately 4-fold higher than the levels seen at any other stage of the cycle. GC-A and GC-B receptors were detected using quantitative autoradiography after application of either [125I]ANP or [125I]-tyr0CNP to sections of frozen ovaries. The highest specific binding of each radiolabeled ligand was seen in ovaries from proestrous animals. The GC-B receptors were localized to the membrana granulosa of developing ovarian follicles. Using quantitative PCR, we determined that levels of GC-A and GC-B mRNAs were highest in the ovaries of proestrous animals and were approximately 2- to 3-fold higher than the levels seen at diestrus. These findings demonstrate that a natriuretic peptide system, consisting of ligands and receptors, is present in the rat ovary. Since CNP and the GC receptors show coordinate estrous cycle-dependent variation with maximal expression at proestrus, we speculate that the natriuretic peptides may play an important role in either the development of ovulatory follicles or in the ovulatory process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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