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

Cellular heterogeneity in the membrana granulosa of developing rat follicles: assessment by flow cytometry and lectin binding.

The hormone-mediated maturation of ovarian follicles is apparently accompanied by position-specific differentiation of cells of the membrana granulosa. We have assessed the extent of this cellular heterogeneity by flow cytometry using a variety of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled lectins as probes. Follicular development was stimulated in immature rats by treatment with either diethylstilbestrol (DES) or equine CG (eCG). Lectin binding to monodispersed rat granulosa cells was then analyzed by flow cytometry. Our results demonstrate that there are two distinct populations of small (4-7 microM) and large (9-12 microM) granulosa cells in follicles from DES- and eCG-treated animals. Both populations appear to be mitotically active and show specific lectin-binding characteristics. Six lectins (canavalia ensiforms, triticum vulgaris, maclura pomifera, erythrina cristagalli, jacalin, and vicia villosa) bind equally to both small and large granulosa cells from the DES- and eCG-treated rats. In contrast, no binding to either cell population was detected with six other lectins (dolichos biflorus, griffonia simplicifolia-II, lycopersicon esculentum, datura stramonium, solanum tuberosum, and ulex europaeus). Furthermore, four galactose-binding lectins (bauhinia purpurea, glysine maximus, griffonia simplicifolia-I, and arachis hypogaea) were found to identify specific subsets of granulosa cells. Three of these lectins (bauhinia purpurea, glysine maximus, and griffonia simplicifolia-I) bind to only small granulosa cells from either DES- or eCG- treated immature rats. The fourth lectin (arachis hypogaea) identifies subpopulations of both small and large granulosa cells. Application of the four galactose-specific lectins to fixed sections of frozen ovaries demonstrated binding to the perioocyte and cumulus granulosa cells. We conclude that cellular heterogeneity exists within the follicular epithelium at various stages-specific lectin-binding sites.[1]


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