Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Systemic analysis of gene expression profiles in porcine granulosa cells during aging

Li Hui _, Guo Shuangshuang, Yu Jianning and Shi Zhendan

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:96588-96603. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21731

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Li Hui1, Guo Shuangshuang1, Yu Jianning1 and Shi Zhendan1

1 Key Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Reproduction, Institute of Animal Science, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing, China

Correspondence to:

Li Hui, email:

Shi Zhendan, email:

Keywords: granulosa cell, aging, porcine, gene expression, RNA-seq, Gerotarget

Received: July 08, 2017 Accepted: September 20, 2017 Published: October 10, 2017


Current studies have revealed that aging is a negative factor that suppresses granulosa cell functions and causes low fertility in women. However, the difference in gene expression between normal and aging granulosa cells remains undefined. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the gene expression profiles of granulosa cells during aging. Granulosa cells from young healthy porcine ovaries were aged in vitro by prolonging the culture time (for 48h). First, the extracellular ultrastructure was observed by scanning electron microscopy followed by RNA-seq and KEGG pathway analysis. The results showed that the extracellular ultrastructure was significantly altered by aging; cell membranes were rough, and cavitations were found. Moreover, the formations of filopodia were greatly reduced. RNA-seq data revealed that 3411 genes were differentially expressed during aging, of which 2193 genes were up-regulated and 1218 genes were down-regulated. KEGG pathway analysis revealed that 25 pathways including pathway in cancer, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, focal adhesion, proteoglycans in cancer, and cAMP signaling pathway were the most changed. Moreover, several high differentially expressed genes (CEBPB, CXCL12, ANGPT2, IGFBP3, and BBOX1) were identified in aging granulosa cells, The expressions of these genes and genes associated with extracellular matrix remodeling associated genes (TIMP3, MMP2, MMP3, and CTGF), energy metabolism associated genes (SLC2A1, PPARγ) and steroidogenesis associated genes (StAR, CYP11A1 and LHCGR) were confirmed by quantitative PCR. This study identifies the differently changed pathways and their related genes, contributes to the understanding of aging in granulosa cells, and provides an important foundation for further studies.

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