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

Melatonin potentially acts directly on swine ovary by modulating granulosa cell function and angiogenesis

Giuseppina Basini A B , Simona Bussolati A , Roberta Ciccimarra A and Francesca Grasselli A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Dipartimento di Scienze Medico-Veterinarie, Università degli Studi di Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, Italy.

B Corresponding author. Email: basini@unipr.it

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16513
Submitted: 26 September 2016  Accepted: 7 March 2017   Published online: 3 April 2017

Abstract

Melatonin exerts well-known reproductive effects, mainly acting on hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone release. More recent data suggest that melatonin acts directly at the ovarian level, even if, at present, these aspects have been only partly investigated. Swine follicular fluid contains melatonin and its concentration is significantly reduced during follicular growth. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine the effects of melatonin, used at physiological concentrations, on cultured swine granulosa cells collected from small (<3 mm) and large (>5 mm) follicles on the main parameters of granulosa cell function such as proliferation and steroidogenesis, namely oestradiol 17β and progesterone (P4) production. Moreover, the effects of melatonin on superoxide anion and nitric oxide (NO) generation by swine granulosa cells were also investigated. Finally, since angiogenesis is crucial for follicle growth, the effects of melatonin on new vessel growth were studied. Collected data indicate that melatonin interferes with cultured granulosa cell proliferation and steroidogenesis, specifically in terms of P4 production and NO output. In addition, the events of physiological follicular angiogenesis were stimulated by melatonin as evidenced by angiogenesis bioassay. Therefore, we suggest that physiological melatonin concentrations could potentially be involved in local modulation of swine ovarian follicle function.

Additional keywords: nitric oxide, ovarian follicle, oestradiol 17β, progesterone, superoxide anion.


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