Different expression and localization of aquaporin 7 and aquaporin 9 in granulosa cells, oocytes, and embryos of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome and the negatively correlated relationship with insulin regulation

In a study of polycystic ovary syndrome pathogenesis, aquaporin 7 and aquaporin 9 were negatively correlated with insulin expression and may be involved in oocyte maturation and embryonic development.

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VOLUME 115, ISSUE 2, P463-473

Authors:

Wen-Yan Song, Ph.D., Yuan Wang, M.B.B.S., Xiao-Man Hou, M.M., Cheng-Cheng Tian, M.M., Liang Wu, Ph.D., Xue-Shan Ma, Ph.D., Hai-Xia Jin, Ph.D., Gui-Dong Yao, Ph.D., Ying-Pu Sun, Ph.D. 

Abstract:

Objective

To investigate the expression of aquaporin 7 (AQP7) and aquaporin 9 (AQP9) in the granulosa cells of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and healthy women and detect their localization in oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV), metaphase I (MI), MII, embryo, and blastocyst stages and the in vitro response to insulin stimulation.


Design

Randomized, assessor-blinded study.


Setting

Reproductive medical center.


Patient(s)

A total of 40 women (aged 20–38 years) comprising 29 cases of primary infertility and 11 cases of secondary infertility, of whom 17 had an initial diagnosis of PCOS and three received a PCOS diagnosis after an infertility examination.


Intervention(s)

Controlling different concentrations of insulin and different treatment times in cultures of normal human granulosa cells in vitro.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

Expression of AQP7 and AQP9 genes and proteins in granulosa cells detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and localization in oocytes at the GV, MI, MII, embryo, and blastocyst stages by Western blot, immunohistochemical, and immunofluorescence assays, and concentrations of insulin in follicular fluid by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Result(s)

The expression levels of the AQP7 mRNA and protein in the granulosa cells of patients with PCOS were higher than found in healthy controls. We found AQP7 protein expressed in human oocytes at GV, MI, MII, embryo, and blastocyst stages; it was mainly located in the nucleoplasm. In the PCOS group, the expression level of AQP9 mRNA and protein in granulosa cells was lower, and AQP9 protein was expressed in oocytes at the GV, MI, MII, embryo, and blastocyst stages; it was localized on the nuclear membrane. Compared with healthy women, the insulin expression in patients with PCOS was higher. In cultures of normal human granulosa cells in vitro, the expression of AQP7 and AQP9 mRNA and protein decreased with the increase in insulin concentration; expression statistically significantly decreased when the insulin concentration was 100 nmol/L, and after 6 to 24 hours of exposure the lowest expression levels were found at 12 hours.


Conclusion(s)

The different localization and expression of AQP7 and AQP9 between the two groups suggests that they might be involved in oocyte maturation and embryonic development through different regulatory pathways. The expression levels of AQP7 and AQP9 were negatively correlated with insulin regulation, suggesting that insulin might affect the maturation of PCOS follicles by changing AQP7 and AQP9 expression.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.