Transcriptome profiling of granulosa cells of bovine ovarian follicles during different stages of folliculogenesis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Animal Science, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Animal Science, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


At the later stage of folliculogenesis, the mammalian ovarian follicle contains layers of epithelial granulosa cells surrounding an antral cavity. During follicle development, granulosa cells replicate, secrete hormones and support the growth of the oocyte. In cattle, the follicle needs to grow over 10 mm in diameter to allow an oocyte release in  ovulation process, following which the granulosa cells cease dividing and differentiate into the specialized cells of the corpus luteum. To better understand the molecular basis of follicular growth and granulosa cell maturation, we undertook the transcriptome profiling of granulosa cells from small (< 5 mm; n = 10) and large (> 10 mm, n = 4) healthy bovine follicles, using data mining. In this regard, we have studied important genes that are included in folliculogenesis process using data, freely available in the different databases. In total 283 genes were identified with the comparison of transcriptome profiling of large and small granulosa cells. With construction and analysis of network, we became able to identify the interaction between them and finally we have found 6 important and functional modules using various software. The most important genes involved, were TNFα, NR1H4, LHCGR, FSHR, PTHLH, LHB, CAD, HSD3B1, CYP17A1, DICE1, MCE1, COX and Aromatase. These results suggest that identified modules can be used as markers for follicle differentiation and apoptosis process. 


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