Effect of superstimulation on the expression of microRNAs and genes involved in steroidogenesis and ovulation in Nelore cows

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Santos, P. H. [UNESP]
Satrapa, R. A.
Fontes, P. K. [UNESP]
Franchi, F. F. [UNESP]
Razza, E. M. [UNESP]
Mani, F. [UNESP]
Nogueira, M. F.G. [UNESP]
Barros, C. M. [UNESP]
Castilho, A. C.S. [UNESP]
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To better understand the impact of ovarian superstimulation on bovine follicular microenvironment, Nelore cows (Bos taurus indicus) were subjected to ovarian superstimulation with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH, n = 10; P-36 protocol) or FSH combined with eCG (n = 10; P-36/eCG protocol). Follicular fluid was analyzed for cholesterol concentration. Granulosa cells were analyzed by RT-qPCR to assess the expression of genes involved in steroidogenic and ovulatory and expression of microRNAs involved in final follicular development and luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) expression. Plasma concentration of estradiol was also measured. Follicular fluid from the P-36 group showed higher concentration of cholesterol than that of control (non-superstimulated) cows. Plasma concentration of estradiol was higher in the P-36/eCG group. Abundance of STAR and FSHR mRNAs were lower in granulosa cells from the P-36/eCG group. In contrast, LHCGR mRNA abundance was higher in superstimulated granulosa cells from the P-36 group and showed a pattern opposite to that of miR-222 expression. Ovarian superstimulation did not affect the expression of other markers (mmu-miR-202-5p, has-miR-873, has-miR-144, and their target genes, CREB, TGFBR2, and ATG7) of antral follicle development. However, the mRNA expression of VEGF pathway components was modulated by P-36 treatment. Taken together, these results demonstrate that superstimulatory protocols modify steroidogenic capacity, increase plasma estradiol, and regulate the abundance of VEGF system, LHCGR mRNA and suppress the expression of miR-222 in bovine granulosa cells.
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Theriogenology, v. 110, p. 192-200.