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Open AccessArticle

Hypoxia Limits the Growth of Bovine Follicles in Vitro by Inhibiting Estrogen Receptor α

1
College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
Faculty of Medical and Chemical Engineering, Xianyang Vocational Technical College, Tongyi Street, Fengxi new city, Xi’an 712100, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Plateau Grazing Animal Nutrition and Feed Science of Qinghai Province, Qinghai Plateau Yak Research Center, Qinhai University, Xining 810016, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Animals 2019, 9(8), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080551
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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Simple Summary

It is well documented that a hypoxic environment at high altitudes decreased the fertility of female domestic animals because of embryonic or fetal losses, intrauterine growth restriction, and birth weight reduction. However, little study has been performed on for the effects of hypoxia on bovine ovary function. In this study, we found that the hypoxia plays an important role in regulating follicular survival and genes expression. Hypoxia limits the growth of bovine follicles cultured in vitro through inhibition of ERα, which could provide useful information for future studies relating to reproduction of cattle.

Abstract

Female animals living in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have lower ovulation rates because of the hypoxic environment, however, the mechanism of hypoxia on animal follicles is unclear. In this study, the effects of hypoxia on bovine follicles were investigated using an in vitro follicular culture system. The results show that there was a significant decrease in follicular diameter from day 3 to day 6 in both hypoxia and hypoxia with estrogen (E2) and fulvestrant (ICI 182780) (hypoxia + E2 + ICI) groups, when compared with a normoxia group (p < 0.05). We also observed significant downregulation of ERα and FSHR, while upregulation of LHCGR expression in the hypoxia group and hypoxia + E2 + ICI groups compared to the normoxia group (p < 0.05). The expression of IGF1 gene was significantly downregulated in hypoxia + E2 + ICI group when compared to the hypoxia + E2 group (p < 0.05). The expression of HIF1A, ADAMTS1, VEGFA, and EDN2 were upregulated in both hypoxia and hypoxia + E2 + ICI groups in comparison to normoxia group (p < 0.05). Under hypoxic conditions, the addition of E2 resulted in a decrease of HIF1A protein but an increase of ERα protein in cultured bovine follicles (p < 0.05). In summary, hypoxia limits the growth of bovine follicle cultured in vitro through inhibition of ERα. View Full-Text
Keywords: follicle; bovine; hypoxia; estrogen receptor follicle; bovine; hypoxia; estrogen receptor
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Ma, L.; Wang, L.; Gao, H.; Liu, N.; Zheng, Y.; Gao, Y.; Liu, S.; Jiang, Z. Hypoxia Limits the Growth of Bovine Follicles in Vitro by Inhibiting Estrogen Receptor α. Animals 2019, 9, 551.

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