Presence of an aromatase inhibitor, possibly heat shock protein 90, in dominant follicles of cattle

M. A. Driancourt, P. Guet, K. Reynaud, A. Chadli, M. G. Catelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In cattle, it has been suggested that follicular fluid has direct modulatory effects on follicular growth and maturation. In the first part of this study, an in vitro test using aromatase activity of follicular wall fragments as an end point was validated for cattle follicles and was used to test whether follicular fluid (from dominant or non-dominant follicles) modulates aromatase activity. Fluid from dominant follicles at a concentration of 24 or 12% (obtained during the luteal and follicular phases, respectively) significantly inhibited aromatase activity. Inhibitory activity was low or absent in fluid from non-dominant follicles. FSH-stimulated aromatase activity was also reduced by fluid from dominant follicles, but not to a greater extent than in basal conditions. Finally, charcoal treated fluid from dominant follicles retained its inhibitory activity. In contrast, ovarian venous serum draining a dominant follicle had no activity at the three concentrations tested (6, 12 and 24%). In the second part of the study, identification of the compounds involved in this modulatory activity was attempted using SDS-PAGE. Comparison of the fluorographs from de novo synthesized proteins stored in follicular fluid (inhibitory medium) with those secreted in incubation medium (inactive medium) demonstrated that one protein (90 kDa, pI 5.8) was significantly (P < 0.05) more abundant in fluid from dominant follicles (2.0 ± 0.09%) than in the culture medium (1.3 ± 0.1% of the total proteins). This protein had characteristics similar to those of heat shock protein 90 (hsp 90). Therefore, in the final part of the study, the presence of hsp 90 in ovarian cells and follicular fluid was investigated using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. After immunohistochemistry, a positive signal was detected mainly in the granulosa cells of larger follicles and to a smaller extent in thecal cells and oocytes. Western blot analysis also demonstrated the presence of hsp 90 in follicular wall fragments and fluid. When blotting was achieved on a sample of follicular fluid resolved by two-dimensional PAGE, the spot detected had a similar location to that at 90 kDa and pI 5.8. Addition of purified hsp 90 to bovine follicles in vitro depressed aromatase activity by altering the K(m) value (and possibly the V(max) value) of the enzyme. It is proposed that hsp 90 is a functional regulator of follicular maturation through its action on aromatase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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