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The differential transcriptome and ontology profiles of floating and cumulus granulosa cells in stimulated human antral follicles

Kõks, S., Velthut, A., Sarapik, A., Altmäe, S., Reinmaa, E., Schalkwyk, L.C., Fernandes, C., Lad, H.V., Soomets, U., Jaakma, Ü. and Salumets, A. (2009) The differential transcriptome and ontology profiles of floating and cumulus granulosa cells in stimulated human antral follicles. MHR: Basic science of reproductive medicine, 16 (4). pp. 229-240.

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Communication between various ovarian cell types is a prerequisite for folliculogenesis and ovulation. In antral follicles granulosa cells divide into two distinct populations of mural and cumulus granulosa cells (CGC), enveloping the antrum and surrounding the oocyte, respectively. Both cell types, with the mural compartment in excess, contribute to the floating granulosa cell (FGC) population in the follicular fluid. The aim of this study was to compare the transcriptomes of FGC and CGC in stimulated antral follicles obtained from 19 women undergoing IVF–ICSI procedure. FGC were obtained from follicular fluid during the follicle puncture procedure and CGC were acquired after oocyte denudation for micromanipulation. Gene expression analysis was conducted using the genome-wide Affymetrix transcriptome array. The expression profile of the two granulosa cell populations varied significantly. Out of 28 869 analysed transcripts 4480 were differentially expressed (q-value < 10−4) and 489 showed ≥2-fold difference in the expression level with 222 genes up-regulated in FGC and 267 in CGC. The transcriptome of FGC showed higher expression of genes involved in immune response, hematological system function and organismal injury, although CGC had genes involved in protein degradation and nervous system function up-regulated. Cell-to-cell signalling and interaction pathways were noted in both cell populations. Furthermore, numerous novel transcripts that have not been previously described in follicular physiology were identified. In conclusion, our results provide a solid basis for future studies in follicular biology that will help to identify molecular markers for oocyte and embryo viability in IVF.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2009
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