Phospholipase C-related but catalytically inactive proteins PRIP-1 and -2 are inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate binding proteins that are encoded by independent genes. Ablation of the Prip genes in mice impairs female fertility, which is manifested by fewer pregnancies, a decreased number of pups, and the decreased and increased secretion of gonadal steroids and gonadotropins, respectively. We investigated the involvement of the PRIPs in fertility, focusing on the ovaries of Prip-1 and -2 double-knock-out (DKO) mice. Multiple cystic follicles were observed in DKO ovaries, and a superovulation assay showed a markedly decreased number of ovulated oocytes. Cumulusoocyte complexes showed normal expansion, and artificial gonadotropin stimulation regulated the ovulation-related genes in a normal fashion, suggesting that the ovulation itself was probably normal.Ahistological analysis showed atresia in fewer follicles of the DKO ovaries, particularly in the secondary follicle stages. The expression of luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) was aberrantly higher in developing follicles, and the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase, a downstream target of LH-LHR signaling, was higher in DKO granulosa cells. This suggests that the up-regulation of LH-LHR signaling is the cause of impaired follicle development. The serum estradiol level was lower, but estradiol production was unchanged in theDKOovaries. These results suggest that PRIPs are positively involved in the development of follicles via their regulation of LH-LHR signaling and estradiol secretion. Female DKO mice had higher serum levels of insulin, testosterone, and uncarboxylated osteocalcin, which, together with reduced fertility, are reminiscent of polycystic ovary syndrome in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology