Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Regulation of interleukin-11 expression in ovulatory follicles of the rat ovary

You-Jee Jang A * , Jae-Il Park B * , Seong-Eun Jeong A , You-Mi Seo D , Phuong T. M. Dam A , Young-Woo Seo B , Bum-Chae Choi E , Sang-Jin Song E , Sang-Young Chun A F and Moon-Kyoung Cho C F

A School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Life Science, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea.

B Animal Facility of Aging Science, Korea Basic Science Institute, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea.

C Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju 61469, Republic of Korea.

D Department of Oral Histology–Developmental Biology, Scholol of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Republic of Korea.

E Center for Recurrent Miscarriage and Infertility, Creation and Love Women’s Hospital, Gwangiu 61917, Republic of Korea.

F Corresponding authors. Emails: sychun@jnu.ac.kr; chomk@jnu.ac.kr

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16460
Submitted: 1 February 2016  Accepted: 29 April 2017   Published online: 19 May 2017

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the regulation of interleukin (IL)-11 expression, as well as the role of IL-11, during ovulation in gonadotropin-primed immature rats. Injection of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), followed by human CG (hCG) to induce superovulation stimulated expression of the Il11 gene in theca cells within 6 h, as revealed by northern blot and in situ hybridisation analyses. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the IL-11 receptor, α subunit gene was expressed in granulosa and theca cells and that injection of hCG had no effect on its expression. IL-11 protein expression was stimulated in theca cells by hCG. LH-stimulated increases in Il11 mRNA levels in cultured preovulatory follicles were inhibited by protein kinase A and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitors. Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 were detected in preovulatory follicles, and the TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide, but not the TLR2 ligand Pam3Cys, increased Il11 mRNA levels in theca cells, but not in granulosa cells. Treatment of preovulatory follicles with IL-11 stimulated progesterone production and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star) gene expression. Together, these results indicate that IL-11 in theca cells is stimulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling and TLR4 activation, and increases progesterone production during ovulation.

Additional keywords: gonadotropin, ovulation, progesterone, Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2/4.


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