Expression of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in different stages of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) ovarian follicles: effect of nitric oxide on in vitro development of preantral follicle

Pawan K Dubey, Vrajesh Tripathi, Ram Pratap Singh, G Saikumar, Amar Nath, Pratheesh, Nitin Gade, G Taru Sharma
Theriogenology 2012 January 15, 77 (2): 280-91
The present study was designed to investigate the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms in buffalo ovarian preantral (PFs), antral (AFs) and ovulatory (OFs) follicles (Experiment 1); effect of NO on in vitro survival and growth of PFs (Experiment 2) and NOS activity in immature oocytes by NADPH-diaphorase test (Experiment 3). In Experiment 1, NOS isoforms (neuronal, inducible and endothelial) were localized immunohistochemically; mRNA and protein expression was analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blot, respectively. In Experiment 2, PFs were isolated by micro-dissection method from buffalo ovaries and cultured in 0 (control), 10(-3), 10(-5), 10(-7) and 10(-9) M sodium nitroprusside (SNP). PFs were further cultured with 10(-5) M SNP + 1.0 mM N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or 1.0 μg/ml hemoglobin (Hb) to examine the reversible effect of SNP. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) immunoreactivity was predominantly localized in granulosa and theca cells whereas, neuronal (nNOS) and endothelial (eNOS) nitric oxide synthase in the theca, granulosa and cumulus cells of PFs, AFs and OFs. The amount of mRNA as well as protein of nNOS and eNOS was found similar between different stages of follicles. In contrast, higher level of iNOS mRNA was observed in OFs and protein in the AFs. Higher doses of SNP (10(-3), 10(-5), 10(-7) M) inhibited (P < 0.05) while, lower dose of SNP (10(-9) M) stimulated (P < 0.05) the survival, growth, and antrum formation of PFs. The inhibitory effects of SNP were reversed by Hb, while L-NAME was not found effective. In conclusion, expression of NOS isoforms mRNA and protein in PFs, AFs, and OFs and NOS enzyme activity in immature follicular oocytes suggest a role for NO during ovarian folliculogenesis in buffalo. NO plays a dual role on growth and survival of PFs depending on its concentration in the culture medium.

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