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1 June 2000 Expression of Growth and Differentiation Factor-9 in the Ovaries of Fetal Sheep Homozygous or Heterozygous for the Inverdale Prolificacy Gene (FecXI)
K. J. Bodensteiner, K. P. McNatty, C. M. Clay, C. L. Moeller, H. R. Sawyer
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Abstract

Abnormal follicular and oocyte growth in ovaries of sheep homozygous (II) for the Inverdale gene, FecXI, suggest that this gene may influence a fundamental event in initiation of folliculogenesis, with two copies of the gene inhibiting growth at the primordial/primary stage. In addition, striking similarities in ovarian morphology between mice deficient in growth and differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) and II sheep suggest a relationship between the FecXI gene and GDF-9 function in the ovary. Therefore, it was hypothesized that GDF-9 mRNA expression would be inhibited in ovaries of II fetal sheep. To test this hypothesis, in situ hybridization was used to characterize GDF-9 mRNA expression in ovaries of homozygous (II), heterozygous (I ), and control ( ) fetal sheep at Day 135 of gestation. GDF-9 mRNA expression was localized exclusively to oocytes from the type 1 follicle stage onward in all genotypes and is the first demonstration of GDF-9 mRNA expression in ovaries of fetal sheep. In addition, GDF-9 mRNA expression was detected in oocytes of abnormal type 2 follicles in the ovaries of II sheep. Thus, it does not appear that inhibition of GDF-9 gene expression is the mechanism of action whereby the FecXI gene exerts its influence. However, the possibility of translation at specific stages of follicular development cannot presently be ruled out. In addition, the FecXI gene may be involved, either directly or indirectly, in regulating expression of receptors for GDF-9. At present, however, neither the FecXI gene product nor the GDF-9 receptor has been isolated or characterized.

K. J. Bodensteiner, K. P. McNatty, C. M. Clay, C. L. Moeller, and H. R. Sawyer "Expression of Growth and Differentiation Factor-9 in the Ovaries of Fetal Sheep Homozygous or Heterozygous for the Inverdale Prolificacy Gene (FecXI)," Biology of Reproduction 62(6), 1479-1485, (1 June 2000). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod62.6.1479
Received: 2 November 1999; Accepted: 1 December 1999; Published: 1 June 2000
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