A role for orphan nuclear receptor liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1, NR5A2) in primordial follicle activation

Marie Charlotte Meinsohn, Camilla H.K. Hughes, Anthony Estienne, Hatice D. Saatcioglu, David Pépin, Raj Duggavathi, Bruce D. Murphy

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Liver receptor homolog-1 (NR5A2) is expressed specifically in granulosa cells of developing ovarian follicles where it regulates the late stages of follicle development and ovulation. To establish its effects earlier in the trajectory of follicular development, NR5A2 was depleted from granulosa cells of murine primordial and primary follicles. Follicle populations were enumerated in neonates at postnatal day 4 (PND4) coinciding with the end of the formation of the primordial follicle pool. The frequency of primordial follicles in PND4 conditional knockout (cKO) ovaries was greater and primary follicles were substantially fewer relative to control (CON) counterparts. Ten-day in vitro culture of PND4 ovaries recapitulated in vivo findings and indicated that CON mice developed primary follicles in the ovarian medulla to a greater extent than did cKO animals. Two subsets of primordial follicles were observed in wildtype ovaries: one that expressed NR5A2 and the second in which the transcript was absent. Neither expressed the mitotic marker. KI-67, indicating their developmental quiescence. RNA sequencing on PND4 demonstrated that loss of NR5A2 induced changes in 432 transcripts, including quiescence markers, inhibitors of follicle activation, and regulators of cellular migration and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. These experiments suggest that NR5A2 expression poises primordial follicles for entry into the developing pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1079
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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