We previously established a potential role for cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CARTPT) in dominant follicle selection in cattle. CARTPT expression is elevated in subordinate versus dominant follicles, and treatment with the mature form of the CARTPT peptide (CART) decreases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-stimulated granulosa cell estradiol production in vitro and follicular fluid estradiol and granulosa cell CYP19A1 mRNA in vivo. However, mechanisms that regulate granulosa cell CART responsiveness are not understood. In this study, we investigated hormonal regulation of granulosa cell CART-binding sites in vitro and temporal regulation of granulosa cell CART-binding sites in bovine follicles collected at specific stages of a follicular wave. We also determined the effect of inhibition of CART receptor signaling in vivo on estradiol production in future subordinate follicles. Granulosa cell CART binding in vitro was increased by FSH, and this induction was blocked by estrogen receptor antagonist treatment. In follicles collected in vivo at specific stages of a follicular wave, granulosa cell CART binding in the F2 (second largest), future subordinate follicle increased during dominant follicle selection. Injection into the F2 follicle (at onset of diameter deviation) of an inhibitor of the o/i subclass of G proteins (previously shown to block CART actions in vitro) resulted in increased follicular fluid estradiol concentrations in vivo. Collectively, results demonstrate hormonal regulation of granulosa cell CART binding in vitro and temporal regulation of CART binding in subordinate follicles during dominant follicle selection. Results also suggest that CART signaling may help suppress estradiol-producing capacity of the F2 (subordinate) follicle during this time period.
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Vol. 89 • No. 6