Transcript abundance of stromal and thecal cell related genes during bovine ovarian development

Nicholas Hatzirodos, Katja Hummitzsch, Helen F. Irving-Rodgers, James Breen, Viv E.A. Perry, Richard A. Anderson, Raymond J. Rodgers

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Movement and expansion of mesonephric-derived stroma appears to be very important in the development of the ovary. Here, we examined the expression of 24 genes associated with stroma in fetal ovaries during gestation (n = 17; days 58–274) from Bos taurus cattle. RNA was isolated from ovaries for quantitative RT-PCR. Expression of the majority of genes in TGFβ signalling, stromal transcription factors (NR2F2, AR), and some stromal matrix genes (COL1A1, COL3A1 and FBN1, but not FBN3) showed a positive linear increase with gestational age. Expression of genes associated with follicles (INSL3, CYP17A1, CYP11A1 and HSD3B1), was low until mid-gestation and then increased with gestational age. LHCGR showed an unusual bimodal pattern; high levels in the first and last trimesters. RARRES1 and IGFBP3 also increased with gestational age. To relate changes in gene expression in stromal cells with that in non stromal cells during development of the ovary we combined the data on the stromal genes with another 20 genes from non stromal cells published previously and then performed hierarchical clustering analysis. Three major clusters were identified. Cluster 1 genes (GATA4, FBN3, LHCGR, CYP19A1, ESR2, OCT4, DSG2, TGFB1, CCND2, LGR5, NR5A1) were characterised by high expression only in the first trimester. Cluster 2 genes (FSHR, INSL3, HSD3B1, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, AMH, IGFBP3, INHBA) were highly expressed in the third trimester and largely associated with follicle function. Cluster 3 (COL1A1, COL3A1, FBN1, TGFB2 TGFB3, TGFBR2, TGFBR3, LTBP2, LTBP3, LTBP4, TGFB1I1, ALDH1A1, AR, ESR1, NR2F2) had much low expression in the first trimester rising in the second trimester and remaining at that level during the third trimester. Cluster 3 contained members of two pathways, androgen and TGFβ signalling, including a common member of both pathways namely the androgen receptor cofactor TGFβ1 induced transcript 1 protein (TGFB1I1; hic5). GATA4, FBN3 and LHCGR, were highly correlated with each other and were expressed highly in the first trimester during stromal expansion before follicle formation, suggesting that this could be a critical phase in the development of the ovarian stroma.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213575
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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