Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
P4 down-regulates Jagged2 and Notch1 expression during primordial folliculogenesis
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Nest breakdown and primordial folliculogenesis of the mouse ovary can be inhibited by progesterone (P4) and Notch signaling inhibitors. However, the relationship between these two signals during this process remains unknown. In the present study, transcript levels of Jagged2, Notch1, and their target, Hey2, increased markedly in ovaries during the beginning stage of folliculogenesis (17.5 days post coitus (dpc) to birth). Maternal P4 levels decreased simultaneously. We found that maternal midpregnancy P4 levels significantly inhibited Jagged2, Notch1, and Hey2 expression, and follicle formation in vitro. Maintaining high maternal P4 levels by daily injection also significantly suppressed the expression of Jagged2, Notch1, and Hey2, and follicle formation during late pregnancy. Based on immunohistochemistry, Jagged2 was localized in oocytes and Notch1 was strongly stained in pre-granulosa cells in 19.5 dpc ovaries. Suppression of their function by antibody addition and RNAi markedly inhibited nest breakdown and follicle formation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that maternal P4 levels during midpregnancy can inhibit the expression of Jagged2 and Notch1, which are involved in primordial folliculogenesis, in the mouse fetal ovary.