Discovery of a possible role of asprosin in ovarian follicular function

in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
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  • 1 Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
  • 2 Department of Agriculture, Veterinary, and Rangeland Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to L J Spicer: Leon.spicer@okstate.edu
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Asprosin is a novel fasting-induced protein encoded by fibrillin-1 (FBN1) gene, produced when FBN1 is cleaved by the enzyme furin, and is associated with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome in humans. To characterize mRNA abundance of FBN1, FURIN, and the presumed asprosin receptor, olfactory receptor family 4 subfamily M member 1 (OR4M1) in granulosa (GC) and theca cells (TC), and identify hormones regulating FBN1 mRNA expression, GC and TC from small (1–5 mm; SM) and large (>8 mm; LG) follicles were collected from ovaries of heifers obtained at an abattoir and used for real-time PCR gene expression analysis or in vitro evaluation of hormone regulation and asprosin effects. SMTC had 151-fold greater (P < 0.05) FBN1 mRNA abundance than SMGC, and LGTC had 50-fold greater FBN1 mRNA than LGGC. In contrast, OR4M1 mRNA was 81-fold greater in SMGC than LGGC and did not differ from SMTC, but LGTC had 9-fold greater OR4M1 mRNA than LGGC. FURIN mRNA was 2.6-fold greater in SMTC than SMGC, but did not differ among follicular sizes. In cultured TC, leptin, insulin, LH, IGF1 and steroids did not affect FBN1 mRNA, but TGFB1 increased (P < 0.05) FBN1 mRNA by 2.2-fold; EGF and FGFs increased FBN1 mRNA by 1.3- to 1.5-fold. Asprosin enhanced LH-induced TC androstenedione production, reduced IGF1-induced TC proliferation, and had no effect on progesterone production. Developmental regulation of FBN1, FURIN and OR4M1 along with direct effects of asprosin on TC suggests that asprosin may be a novel regulator of ovarian follicular function.

 

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