The transcription factor C/EBP-b and its role in ovarian function; evidence for direct involvement in the ovulatory process
Journal article, 1997
Gonadotropins are responsible for maturation of the ovarian follicle and the oocyte. Ovulation is the ultimate step in this process and involves disintegration of the follicular wall and subsequent release of an oocyte into the oviduct. These events are triggered by a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH), Genes expressed in the ovary, that respond to LH, are likely to be involved in the biochemical pathways that regulate ovulation, The transcription factor C/EBP-beta is induced promptly in the ovary, as a response to an ovulatory dose of gonadotropins. We used an ex vivo perfusion system to demonstrate that a specific reduction in ovarian C/EBP-beta expression inhibits ovulation, In such ovaries the oocytes appeared to be entrapped within the follicle. We have found a correlation between the expression level of the activating isoform of C/EBP-beta and the number of oocytes ovulated in response to gonadotropins, Since a reduction in C/EBP-beta expression does not affect the level of the ovulatory mediator prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase-2 (PGS-2), these findings support the view of C/EBP-beta as an important factor in the ovulatory process and highlight a C/EBP-beta-dependent and PGS-2-independent pathway that takes part in regulation of ovulation.