We have previously proposed endothelin-2 (EDN2) as a granulosa cell-derived contractile signal that facilitates ovulation. Spatially, Edn2 mRNA expression is restricted to granulosa cells of periovulatory follicles. Temporally, mRNA for this contractile peptide is expressed immediately before follicle rupture. The primary objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that hypoxia mediates EDN2 expression in granulosa cells at ovulation, and if it does, to determine the region within the promoter responsible for this effect. To determine the effect of hypoxia on mRNA expression, immature mice were treated with 5 IU of PMSG followed 48 h later by 5 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Granulosa cells were isolated at 9 h after hCG, cultured under normal or hypoxic conditions, and the expression level of mRNA was compared. mRNA expression was increased when granulosa cells were cultured in a hypoxic environment (p < 0.05). Subsequent promoter analysis found that the 5′ upstream region of the EDN2 promoter (between -1894 bp and -1407 bp) was responsible for hypoxia-mediated changes in EDN2 expression. This promoter region contains multiple sites for potential transcriptional regulation, including that by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1, ACGTG) at -1297 bp. The second objective of this study was to determine whether the progesterone receptor (PR) or cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), two key regulators of periovulatory events, controlled EDN2 expression. To accomplish this, gonadotropin-primed mice were treated with RU-486 or indomethacin and expression of mRNA for Edn2 was determined in ovaries collected at 12 h after hCG. Treatment with RU-486 or indomethacin did not affect expression of mRNA for Edn2 (p > 0.05). Taken together, we believe that hypoxia, but not the PR or COX-2, regulate gonadotropin-induced EDN2 expression in the periovulatory follicle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)