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Proepiregulin precursor [Contains: Epiregulin (EPR)]


Effects of aging on gene expression and mitochondrial DNA in the equine oocyte and follicle cells.

We hypothesised that advanced mare age is associated with follicle and oocyte gene alterations. The aims of the study were to examine quantitative and temporal differences in mRNA for LH receptor (LHR), amphiregulin (AREG) and epiregulin (EREG) in granulosa cells, phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4D in cumulus cells and PDE3A, G-protein-coupled receptor 3 (GPR3), growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and mitochondrial (mt) DNA in oocytes. Samples were collected from dominant follicles of Young (3-12 years) and Old (≥20 years) mares at 0, 6, 9 and 12h after administration of equine recombinant LH. LHR mRNA declined after 0h in Young mares, with no time effect in Old mares. For both ages, gene expression of AREG was elevated at 6 and 9h and EREG was expression was elevated at 9h, with higher expression in Old than Young mares. Cumulus cell PDE4D expression increased by 6h (Old) and 12h (Young). Oocyte GPR3 expression peaked at 9 and 12h in Young and Old mares, respectively. Expression of PDE3A increased at 6h, with the increase greater in oocytes from Old than Young mares at 6 and 9h. Mean GDF9 and BMP15 transcripts were higher in Young than Old, with a peak at 6h. Copy numbers of mtDNA did not vary over time in oocytes from Young mares, but a temporal decrease was observed in oocytes from Old mares. The results support an age-associated asynchrony in the expression of genes that are essential for follicular and oocyte maturation before ovulation.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Amphiregulin
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15
  • Cumulus Cells
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Epiregulin
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9
  • Horses
  • Oocytes
  • Ovarian Follicle
  • Receptors, LH
  • Transcriptome