Expression and function of brain-derived neurotrophin factor and its receptor, TrkB, in ovarian follicles from the domestic hen (Gallus gallus domesticus)

T. Jensen, A. L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report summarizes patterns of mRNA expression for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) together with its high-affinity neurotrophin receptor trkB within the hen ovary during follicle development, describes hormonal mechanisms for the regulation of trkB gene expression and provides preliminary evidence for a novel function for BDNF-mediated TrkB signaling within the granulosa layer. Levels of BDNF mRNA in the thecal layer and of trkB mRNA within the granulosa cell layer increase coincident with entrance of the follicle into the preovulatory hierarchy. Localization of the BDNF mRNA transcript correlates with expression of BDNF protein within the theca interna of preovulatory follicles, while localization of trkB mRNA and protein occurs extensively within the granulosa cell layer of preovulatory follicles. This pattern of expression suggests a paracrine relationship between theca and granulosa cells for BDNF signaling via TrkB. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and gonadotropin treatments stimulate increases in levels of trkB mRNA within cultured granulosa cells derived from both prehierarchal and preovulatory follicles, and this response is increased by co-treatment with 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. Finally, BDNF treatment of cultured granulosa cells from preovulatory follicles results in a modest, but significant, reduction in basal progesterone production, whereas this effect was reversed by k252a, an inhibitor of Trk kinase activity. These results support the proposals that BDNF functions as a paracrine signal in hen granulosa cells and that its physiological functions may include the modulation of steroidogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2087-2095
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume204
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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