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Effect of sphingosine-1-phosphate on activation of dormant follicles in murine and human ovarian tissue

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In vitro activation of resting ovarian follicles, with the use of mechanical stress and/or pharmacological compounds, is an emerging and novel approach for infertility treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the sphingolipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), as a potential in vitro activation agent in murine and human ovarian tissues and isolated follicles. Juvenile murine ovaries and donated human ovarian tissues, from 10 women undergoing ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation, were incubated with or without 12 μM S1P for 3 h for quantitative PCR analysis, and 12 h for xenotransplantation or culture studies. Gene expression analyses were performed for genes downstream of the Hippo signaling pathway. Murine ovaries and isolated murine and human preantral follicles showed significantly increased mRNA expression levels of Ccn2/CCN2 following S1P treatment compared to controls. This increase was shown to be specific for the Hippo signaling pathway and for the S1P2 receptor, as co-treatment with Hippo-inhibitor, verteporfin and S1PR2 antagonist, JTE-013, reduced the S1P-induced Ccn2 gene expression in murine ovaries. Histological evaluation of human cortical tissues (5 × 5 × 1 mm; n = 30; three pieces per patient) xenografted for 6 weeks and juvenile murine ovaries cultured for 4 days (n = 9) or allografted for 2 weeks (n = 48) showed no differences in the distribution of resting or growing follicles in S1P-treated ovarian tissues compared to controls. Collectively, S1P increased Ccn2/CCN2 gene expression in isolated preantral follicles and ovarian tissue from mice and human, but it did not promote follicle activation or growth in vivo. Thus, S1P does not appear to be a potent in vitro activation agent under these experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Volume26
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
ISSN1360-9947
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020

ID: 61254911