Gap junctional connexin 37 is expressed in sheep ovaries

Ewa Borowczyk, Mary Lynn Johnson, Jerzy J Bilski, Pawel Borowicz, Dale A Redmer, Lawrence P Reynolds, Anna T Grazul-Bilska
Endocrine 2006, 30 (2): 223-30
The objective of current study was to evaluate the expression of Cx37 in ovarian follicles and in corpora lutea (CL) during the estrous cycle in sheep. Ovine Cx37 was cloned and characterized to design speciesspecific probe and primers. In Exp. 1, ovaries were collected on d 13, 14, 15, and 16 of the estrous cycle, or from FSH-induced ewes at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h after hCG treatment on d 15 of the estrous cycle. In Exps. 2 and 3, CL were collected on d 5, 10, and 15 of the estrous cycle, or at 0, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h after prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2alpha)-induced luteal regression on d 10 of the estrous cycle, respectively. Ovarian tissues (e.g., granulosa cells, theca cells, ovarian follicles, and /or CL) were used for Cx37 immunostaining followed by image analysis or for determination of Cx37 mRNA expression by real-time RT-PCR. We demonstrated that (1) Cx37 protein was expressed in granulosa and cumulus oocyte complex compartments, ovarian blood vessels, and on the luteal cell borders, (2) expression of Cx37 mRNA was greater in granulosa than in theca cells of preovulatory follicles, (3) Cx37 mRNA expression in granulosa but not theca cells was affected by hCG treatment, (4) Cx37 protein and mRNA expression were dependent on the stage of luteal development, and (5) Cx37 expression changed during PGF2alpha- induced luteal regression. Thus, Cx37 may play a role in follicular development and ovulation as well as in luteal tissue growth, differentiation, and regression.

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