Journal of ovarian research 2017 10 0410(1) 68 doi 10.1186/s13048-017-0364-x
Luteinizing hormone (LH) regulation of the ligand, natriuretic peptide precursor type C, and its receptor, natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPR2), is critical for oocyte maturation; however, the mechanism is not fully understood. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) has recently been shown to be involved in oocyte maturation and ovulation. In the present study we determined whether or not M-CSF plays a role in the intermediate signal that mediates LH regulation of NPR2 in resumption of oocyte meiosis.
Immature female C57BL/6 mice were injected i.p. with 5 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) to stimulate follicle development. After 44-48 h, the eCG-stimulated mice were injected i.p. with an ovulatory dose of 5 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The ovaries were excised at selected times. Pre-ovulatory follicles (POFs) and cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in different media. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real-time PCR analyses were used to assess the expression of M-CSF, M-CSF receptor (M-CSF-R), and NPR2. The presence of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) was examined under a stereomicroscope to morphologically evaluate resumption of oocyte meiosis.
NPR2 was mainly expressed in cumulus cells of pre-ovulatory follicles, while M-CSF and M-CSF-R were expressed in both mural granulosa and cumulus cells. The levels of M-CSF/M-CSF-R and NPR2 decreased within 4 h after treatment of hCG. M-CSF not only reduced the expression of NPR2 mRNA via its receptor (M-CSF-R), but also increased the proportion of GVBD in oocytes.
M-CSF serves as an intermediate signal, thus inducing a vital decrease in the NPR2 levels in cumulus cells, and regulates the process of LH-induced resumption of meiosis.