Changes in expression of connexin 43 gap junction messenger ribonucleic acid and protein during ovarian follicular growth

Jane Wiesen, A. Rees Midgley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Within the ovarian follicle, communication between granulosa cells and the oocyte via gap junction channels may be crucial for the determination of whether a given follicle continues its growth and development or becomes atretic. Numerous gap junction channels exist between granulosa cells and between the oocyte and granulosa cells. This study addresses the potential hormonal regulation of the gap junction gene during the processes of follicular growth, ovulation, and atresia. Because the ovary is an exceptionally heterogeneous tissue with numerous follicles at different stages of development, in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry were used to localize gap junction gene expression precisely to specific cells in the ovary. The results demonstrated that only the granulosa cells of healthy, developing, preantral and antral follicles express large amounts of connexin 43 (cx43) gap junction messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein. Theca cells contained negligible levels of cx43 gap junction mRNA or protein. Very little cx43 gap junction mRNA or protein was detected in follicles undergoing atresia or in the corpora lutea. Additionally, during the night of proestrus, the level of cx43 gap junction mRNA and protein seen in the granulosa cells of the large preovulatory follicles dramatically decreased after the ovulatory surge of LH. This decrease was seen only in the preovulatory follicles and not in less-developed follicles, thereby demonstrating a differential response of the follicles to the preovulatory hormonal stimuli. Therefore, the expression of the gap junction gene may be hormonally regulated during follicular growth and development, in preovulatory follicles in preparation for ovulation, and during the process of atresia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrinology
Volume133
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Connexin 43
Gap Junctions
RNA
Granulosa Cells
Growth
Proteins
Messenger RNA
Ovulation
Growth and Development
Oocytes
Ovary
Theca Cells
Proestrus
Ovarian Follicle
Corpus Luteum
Genes
In Situ Hybridization
Immunohistochemistry
Gene Expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Changes in expression of connexin 43 gap junction messenger ribonucleic acid and protein during ovarian follicular growth. / Wiesen, Jane; Midgley, A. Rees.

In: Endocrinology, Vol. 133, No. 2, 08.1993, p. 741-746.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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