Steroidogenic changes and steady state amount of messenger RNA encoding steroidogenic enzymes, gonadotropin receptors and cell-death signalling in the dominant ovarian follicle during estradiol-induced atresia in cattle

C. R. Burke, H. Cárdenas, M. L. Mussard, C. L. Gasser, M. L. Day*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Changes in steroidogenic function and associated gene expression were characterized in dominant ovarian follicles (DF) of cattle where follicles were induced to become atretic by systemic administration of estradiol benzoate (EB). In experiment 1, follicular fluid (FF) steroid concentrations in the DF were measured at 12-hourly time points for 48 h in heifers treated with 1 mg EB i.m./500 kg body weight (EB; n = 20) as compared with untreated controls (C; n = 19). Treatment with EB promoted a transient reduction in circulating FSH, a rapid (12 h) and sustained reduction in FF estradiol, a rapid (12 h) but transient reduction in FF progesterone and a delayed (36 h) increase in FF testosterone concentrations. In experiment 2, whole follicular wall tissue was collected from DF of mature non-lactating cows allocated to a 0 h control group (0HC: n = 7), a 24 h control group (24HC; n = 7) or an EB-treated group where tissue was collected 24 h after administration of 1 mg EB i.m./500 kg body weight (EB; n = 8). As for experiment 1, EB promoted a transient reduction in circulating FSH, a pronounced reduction in FF estradiol and a smaller but significant reduction in FF progesterone concentrations. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR on follicular wall tissue revealed that the loss in estrogen activity at 24 h after EB was associated with two-fold reduction in aromatase mRNA, with an apparent acceleration in loss of 17α-hydroxylase mRNA. Expression of genes for gonadotropin receptors (LHR and FSHR) and a cell-death signalling pathway (Fas antigen and Fas ligand) were unchanged during the initial 24 h of EB-induced atresia. These results suggest that EB initiates atresia in dominant ovarian follicles through a rapid suppression of follicular estradiol synthesis, an effect associated with down-regulation of the aromatase gene. A transient suppression in circulating FSH following administration of EB appears to have initiated these events, and it is suggested that subsequent processes involved in atresia follow this loss in estrogenic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-257
Number of pages14
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Volume99
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Keywords

  • Atresia
  • Cattle-ovarian follicle
  • Estradiol benzoate
  • Steroidogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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