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An ovarian follicle is composed of an oocyte and surrounding theca and granulosa cells. Oocytes are stored in an arrested state within primordial follicles until they are signaled to re-initiate development by undergoing primordial-to-primary follicle transition. Previous gene bionetwork analyses of primordial follicle development identified a number of critical cytokine signaling pathways and genes potentially involved in the process. In the current study, candidate regulatory genes and pathways from the gene network analyses were tested for their effects on the formation of primordial follicles (follicle assembly) and on primordial follicle transition using whole ovary organ culture experiments. Observations indicate that the tyrphostin inhibitor (E)-2-benzylidene-3-(cyclohexylamino)-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-one increased follicle assembly significantly, supporting a role for the MAPK signaling pathway in follicle assembly. The cytokine interleukin 16 (IL16) promotes primordial-to-primary follicle transition as compared with the controls, where as Delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) and WNT-3A treatments have no effect. Immunohistochemical experiments demonstrated the localization of both the cytokine IL16 and its receptor CD4 in the granulosa cells surrounding each oocyte within the ovarian follicle. The tyrphostin LDN193189 (LDN) is an inhibitor of the bone morphogenic protein receptor 1 within the TGFB signaling pathway and was found to promote the primordial-to-primary follicle transition. Observations support the importance of cytokines (i.e., IL16) and cytokine signaling pathways in the regulation of early follicle development. Insights into regulatory factors affecting early primordial follicle development are provided that may associate with ovarian disease and translate to improved therapy in the future. © 2014 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

Citation

Amanda Feeney, Eric Nilsson, Michael K Skinner. Cytokine (IL16) and tyrphostin actions on ovarian primordial follicle development. Reproduction (Cambridge, England). 2014 Sep;148(3):321-31

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PMID: 24970835

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