Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Gonadotropin inhibitory hormone downregulates steroid hormone secretion and genes expressions in duck granulosa cells

Shijian Chen; Wenjun Liu; Chen Yang; Xiujin Li; Xu Shen; Danli Jiang; Yunmao Huang; Yunbo Tian

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  The mechanisms by which GnIH regulates the steroid synthesis pathway in duck granulosa cells remain poorly understood. In this study, we measured steroid hormone secretion by ELISA and reproduction-associated gene expression by quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) in duck granulosa cells treated with different concentrations of GnIH (0, 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 ng/mL) for 24 h. The genome-wide expression profiles of GnIH-treated cells (0 and 10 ng/mL) were evaluated by high-throughput RNA sequencing. Compared with untreated cells, the secretion of the steroid hormones E2, E1, P4, and T was downregulated, with that of E1 and P4 reaching statistical significance (P<0.05); in contrast, the secretion of ACV and INH was significantly upregulated (P<0.05) after treatment with 10 and 100 ng/mL GnIH. The expression of encoding steroidogenic proteins and enzymes genes (STAR, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, CYP19A1, and 3-β-HSD) and encoding gonadotropin receptors genes (FSHR, LHR) were significantly declined (P<0.05) in the 10 and 100 ng/mL GnIH treatments. Transcriptome sequencing identified 348 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 253 upregulated and 95 downregulated genes. The DEGs were mainly involved in cell growth and death, immune response, and steroid biosynthesis pathways. We identified four novel DEGs (MROH5, LOC113840576, SDR42E1, and LOC113841457) with key roles in the regulation of steroid hormone biosynthesis. Our study revealed changes in gonadal steroid hormone secretion and steroid biosynthesis pathway-related gene expression in duck granulosa cells under the inhibitory effect of GnIH. These data contribute to our understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying reproduction in ducks.


Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH), steroid synthesis, gene expression, reproduction, granulosa cell


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