Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARG) and PPAR-alpha (PPARA) control metabolic processes in many cell types and act as anti-inflammatory regulators in macrophages. PPAR-activating ligands include thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as troglitazone, once frequently used to treat insulin resistance as well as symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Since macrophages within the ovary mediate optimal follicle development, TZD actions to improve PCOS symptoms are likely to be partly mediated through these specifically localized immune cells. In mouse ovary, PPARG protein was expressed in granulosa cells and in isolated cells localized to theca, stroma, and corpora lutea, consistent with EMR1 macrophages. Isolation of immune cells (EMR1 or H2 ) showed that Pparg and Ppara were expressed in ovarian macrophages at much higher levels than in peritoneal macrophages. Ovulatory human chorionic gonadotropin downregulated expression of Pparg and Ppara in EMR1 ovarian macrophages, but no hormonal responsiveness was observed in H2 cells. Downstream anti-inflammatory effects of PPARG activation were analyzed by in vitro treatment of isolated macrophages with troglitazone. Interleukin-1 beta (Il1b) expression was not altered, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (Tnf) expression was affected in peritoneal macrophages only. In ovarian macrophages, inducible nitric oxide synthase (Nos2), an important proinflammatory enzyme that regulates ovulation, was significantly reduced by troglitazone treatment, an effect that was restricted to cells from the preovulatory ovary. Thus, expression of PPARs within ovarian macrophages is hormonally regulated, reflecting the changing roles of these cells during the ovulatory cycle. Additionally, ovarian macrophages respond directly to troglitazone to downregulate expression of proinflammatory Nos2, providing mechanistic information about ovarian effects of TZD treatment.
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