Multiple pathways mediate luteinizing hormone regulation of cGMP signaling in the mouse ovarian follicle

Xueqing Liu, Fang Xie, Alberuni Musa Zamah, Binyun Cao, Marco Conti
Biology of Reproduction 2014, 91 (1): 9
Luteinizing hormone (LH) regulation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) network is critical for oocyte maturation and the ovulatory process. Recent studies have indicated that C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and its receptor natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR2) play an important role in the control of meiotic arrest. Here, we investigated the involvement of the EGF network in the LH-dependent regulation of the CNP/NPR2 axis and cGMP accumulation. LH/hCG treatment causes a major decrease in both cGMP and the CNP precursor (natriuretic peptide precursor C [Nppc]) mRNA accumulation in vivo and in vitro. However, the cGMP downregulation precedes the decrease in Nppc mRNA by more than 1 h. Amphiregulin, an EGF-like factor, suppresses Nppc mRNA levels in cultured follicles to the same extent as LH, and this effect is completely prevented by the EGF receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitor AG1478. However, the LH-dependent suppression of Nppc is insensitive to AG1478. Similarly, Nppc suppression by LH occurs in follicles from EGFR null mice. These findings document that EGFR signaling is sufficient to downregulate CNP, but is not necessary for LH action. When cGMP concentration in the follicle is measured, the short-term, but not long-term, LH effects on cGMP are prevented by AG1478, suggesting that ligand availability may be responsible for the late response. Human CG decreases the CNP-dependent cGMP synthesis in wild-type and EGFR knockdown cumulus-oocyte complexes. These findings demonstrate that redundant pathways are involved in the regulation of cGMP. EGFR-dependent events are involved in the short-term regulation of cGMP, whereas the long-term effects may involve regulation of the CNP.

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