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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differentiation-dependent prolactin responsiveness and stat (signal transducers and activators of transcription) signaling in rat ovarian cells.

PRL activates an important cytokine signaling cascade that is obligatory for maintaining luteal cell function in the rat ovary. To determine when specific components of this cascade are expressed and can be activated by PRL, we analyzed the expression of receptor subtypes (short, PRL-R(s), and long, PRL-R(L)), the presence and kinetics of Stat (signal transducer and activator of transcription) activation using the PRL-response element (PRL-RE) of the alpha2M (alpha2-macroglobulin) gene, and the content and hormonal regulation of three specific modulators of cytokine signaling; the tyrosine phosphatases (SHP-1 and SHP-2), and the protein inhibitor of activated Stat3 (PIAS-3). These components were analyzed in differentiating granulosa/ luteal cells of hypophysectomized (H) rats and in corpora lutea of pregnant rats. Levels of PRL-R mRNAs increased as granulosa cells differentiated and reached maximal levels in luteal cells of pregnant rats where levels of PRL-R(s) approached those of PRL-R(L). The relative concentrations shifted from a 27-fold excess of PRL-R(L) in preovulatory granulosa cells to a 3.7-fold difference in luteal cells during midgestation. Despite the increased PRL-R(L) expression in differentiated granulosa cells, PRL did not stimulate detectable activation of Stats. Rather PRL activation of Stat5, principally Stat5b, occurred in association with luteinization. In contrast, granulosa cells of untreated immature and H rats contained a high level of DNA binding activity, which was shown to be comprised entirely of activated, phosphorylated Stat3. Treatment with estrogen and FSH reduced the amount of phosphorylated Stat3 and abolished its ability to bind DNA, an effect temporally related to increased PIAS-3. Expression of SHP-1 (but not SHP-2) was also hormonally regulated; SHP-1 mRNA and protein were high in granulosa cells of H rats, decreased by estrogen and FSH, and subsequently increased dramatically with luteinization. Of particular note, SHP-1 was localized in cytoplasm of granulosa cells in atretic follicles but was distinctly nuclear in luteal cells, indicative of different functional roles. Collectively, these results indicate that Stat3 and Stat5 are activated by distinct cytokine-signaling pathways modulated through differentiation-dependent transcriptional regulation of signaling pathway components and mediate distinct functional processes in the rat ovary: early follicle growth and atresia vs. luteinization.[1]


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