Folliculogenesis is the process of development of ovarian follicles that ultimately results in the release of fertilizable oocytes at ovulation. This is a complex program that involves the proliferation and differentiation of granulosa cells. Granulosa cells are necessary for follicle growth and support the oocyte during folliculogenesis. Genes that regulate the proliferation and differentiation of granulosa cells are beginning to be elucidated. In this study, the expression patterns of Notch receptor genes and their ligands, which have been shown to regulate cell-fate decisions in many systems during development, were examined in the mammalian ovary. In situ hybridization data showed that Notch2, Notch3, and Jagged2 were expressed in an overlapping pattern in the granulosa cells of developing follicles. Jagged1 was expressed in oocytes exclusively. Downstream target genes of Notch also were expressed in granulosa cells. These data implicate the Notch signaling pathway in the regulation of mammalian folliculogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology