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

Comparative analysis of granulosa cell gene expression in association with oocyte competence in FSH-stimulated Holstein cows

David A. Landry A , Chloé Fortin A , Anne-Marie Bellefleur B , Rémi Labrecque B , François-Xavier Grand B , Christian Vigneault B , Patrick Blondin B and Marc-André Sirard A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre de recherche en reproduction, développement et santé intergénérationnelle (CRDSI), Département des Sciences Animales, Faculté des sciences de l’agriculture et de l’alimentation, Université Laval, 2325 Rue de l’Université, Québec, Québec, G1V0A6, Canada.

B Boviteq inc., 19320 Rang Grand Saint Francois Ouest, J2T 5H1, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada.

C Corresponding author. Email: marc-andre.sirard@fsaa.ulaval.ca

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(12) 2324-2335 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16459
Submitted: 16 November 2016  Accepted: 9 March 2017   Published: 19 April 2017

Abstract

Ovarian stimulation with exogenous FSH followed by FSH withdrawal or ‘coasting’ is an effective means of increasing the number of oocytes obtainable for the in vitro production of cattle embryos. However, the quality of the oocytes thus obtained varies considerably from one cow to the next. The aim of the present study was to gain a better understanding of the follicular conditions associated with low oocyte developmental competence. Granulosa cells from 94 Holstein cows in a commercial embryo production facility were collected following ovarian stimulation and coasting. Microarray analysis showed 120 genes expressed with a differential of at least 1.5 when comparing donors of mostly competent with donors of mostly incompetent oocytes. Using ingenuity pathway analysis, we revealed the main biological functions and potential upstream regulators that distinguish donors of mostly incompetent oocytes. These are involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, lipid metabolism, retinol availability and insulin signalling. In summary, we demonstrated that differences in follicle maturity at collection could explain differences in oocyte competence associated with individual animals. We also revealed deficiencies in lipid metabolism and retinol signalling in granulosa cells from donors of mostly incompetent oocytes.

Additional keywords: follicle, superovulation.


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