Acute nutrient treatment causes alterations in intra-follicular antioxidation and AKT signaling
This study aimed to determine if short-term nutrient alteration affects (1) ovarian morphology, (2) plasma and ovarian antioxidant capability and (3) cell apoptosis and AKT signaling within the ovary. After estrus synchronization, 24 Hu sheep were assigned to three groups based on the nutrient requirement recommended for maintenance (M): 1 x M (Control), 1.5 x M (S) and 0.5 x M (R) during days 7–14 of their estrous cycle. The results indicated that undernourishment significantly increased the counts and volume of follicles <2.5 mm and decreased the counts and volume of follicles ≥2.5 mm (P < 0.05). Feed restriction altered the plasma and follicular redox balance within follicles ≥2.5 mm by inhibiting total antioxidant capacity, increasing malondialdehyde concentration (P < 0.05) and reducing the mRNA expression levels of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), as well as the activities of total SOD and GSH-PX. Feed restriction also attenuated B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL2) but enhanced Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX) and BAX/BCL2 transcription and translation levels in granulosa cells (P < 0.05). Uniform staining intensities of AKT and P-AKT-Ser473 were observed in each follicle stage, whereas weaker P-AKT-Thr308 staining in the antral follicle than in the pre-antral follicle suggested possible involvement of P-AKT-Thr308 during the beginning of follicle development. P-AKT-Ser473 levels in follicles ≥2.5 mm was significantly reduced in the R group (P < 0.05). The results presented in this study demonstrate that suppressed folliculogenesis caused by feed restriction might be associated with attenuated AKT signaling, reduced follicular antioxidant capacity and enhanced granulosa cells apoptosis.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science