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XueJing Zhang, JianHua Li, JiaLi Liu, HaoShu Luo, KeMian Gou and Sheng Cui

Prostaglandin F2 α (PGF2 α) is a key factor in the triggering of the regression of the corpus luteum (CL). Furthermore, it has been reported that Slit/Robo signaling is involved in the regulation of luteolysis. However, the interactions between PGF2 α and Slit/Robo in the progression of luteolysis remain to be established. This study was designed to determine whether luteolysis is regulated by the interactions of PGF2 α and Slit/Robo in the mouse CL. Real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry results showed that Slit2 and its receptor Robo1 are highly and specifically co-expressed in the mouse CL. Functional studies showed that Slit/Robo participates in mouse luteolysis by enhancing cell apoptosis and upregulating caspase3 expression. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed that PGF2 α significantly increases the expression of Slit2 and Robo1 during luteolysis through protein kinase C-dependent ERK1/2 and P38 MAPK signaling pathways, whereas an inhibitor of Slit/Robo signaling significantly decreases the stimulating effect of PGF2 α on luteolysis. These findings indicate that Slit/Robo signaling plays important roles in PGF2 α-induced luteolysis by mediating the PGF2 α signaling pathway in the CL.

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Li Zhang, XiaoXin Zhang, Xuejing Zhang, Yu Lu, Lei Li and Sheng Cui

MicroRNAs (MiRNAs) play important regulatory roles in many cellular processes. MiR-143 is highly enriched in the mouse ovary, but its roles and underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In the current study, we show that miR-143 is located in granulosa cells of primary, secondary and antral follicles. To explore the specific functions of miR-143, we transfected miR-143 inhibitor into primary cultured granulosa cells to study the loss of function of miR-143 and the results showed that miR-143 silencing significantly increased estradiol production and steroidogenesis-related gene expression. Moreover, our in vivo and in vitro studies showed that follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) significantly decreased miR-143 expression. This function of miR-143 is accomplished by its binding to the 3’-UTR of KRAS mRNA. Furthermore, our results demonstrated that miR-143 acts as a negative regulating molecule mediating the signaling pathway of FSH and affecting estradiol production by targeting KRAS. MiR-143 also negatively acts in regulating granulosa cells proliferation and cell cycle-related genes expression. These findings indicate that miR-143 plays vital roles in FSH-induced estradiol production and granulosa cell proliferation, providing a novel mechanism that involves miRNA in regulating granulosa cell functions.

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Xin Li, Hongjiao Li, Di Zhang, Guojin Xu, Jinglin Zhang and Sheng Cui

MicroRNA-7 (miR-7) is an important modulator of a plenty of gene expressions and the interrelated biological processes, highly expressed in porcine pituitary. Norepinephrine (NE), acting as an important neurotransmitter or/and a hormone secreted excessively under stress, affects the synthesis and secretion of various hormones, including pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are the key hormones which regulate sexual maturation and reproductive functions. However, the relationship among NE, miR-7 and gonadotropin needs to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to identify whether miR-7 involved in the NE-adrenoceptor signaling pathway affects the synthesis and secretion of FSH and LH in porcine pituitary. Our results showed that the NE intracerebroventricular injection increased pituitary miR-7 level and the synthesis and secretion of FSH and LH in porcine, whereas the inhibition of either endogenous miR-7 or β-adrenergic receptors hindered the rise of FSH and LH synthesis induced by NE in cultured primary porcine anterior pituitary cells. Further, we identified the molecular type of β-adrenergic receptors and the signaling pathway in porcine pituitary, and we found that NE played its roles relying on adrenoceptor beta 2 (β2AR) and the RAF/MEK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway. The phosphorylation of ERK1/2 upregulated miR-7 level which subsequently enhanced FSH and LH synthesis by targeting to Golgi glycoprotein 1 (GLG1). These suggest that miR-7 mediates NE’s effect on promoting FSH and LH synthesis in porcine pituitary.