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Human granulosa cells function as innate immune cells executing an inflammatory reaction during ovulation: a microarray analysis

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Ovulation has been compared to a local inflammatory reaction. We performed an in silico study on a unique, PCR validated, transcriptome microarray study to evaluate if known inflammatory mechanisms operate during ovulation. The granulosa cells were obtained in paired samples at two different time points during ovulation (just before and 36 hours after ovulation induction) from nine women receiving fertility treatment. A total of 259 genes related to inflammation became significantly upregulated during ovulation (2-80 fold, p<0.05), while specific leukocyte markers were absent. The genes and pathway analysis indicated NF-KB-, MAPK- and JAK/STAT signalling (p<1.0E-10) as the major pathways involved in danger recognition and cytokine signalling to initiate inflammation. Upregulated genes further encoded enzymes in eicosanoid production, chemo-attractants, coagulation factors, cell proliferation factors involved in tissue repair, and anti-inflammatory factors to resolve the inflammation again. We conclude that granulosa cells, without involvement from the innate immune system, can orchestrate ovulation as a complete sterile inflammatory reaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume486
Pages (from-to)34-46
Number of pages13
ISSN0303-7207
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Adult, Cytokines/metabolism, Down-Regulation/genetics, Female, Granulosa Cells/immunology, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Inflammation/genetics, Microarray Analysis, Ovulation/genetics, Signal Transduction/genetics, Up-Regulation/genetics

ID: 59045327