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1 May 2003 Metallothionein-1 Messenger RNA Transcription in Steroid-Secreting Cells of the Rat Ovary During the Periovulatory Period
L. L. Espey, T. Ujioka, H. Okamura, J. S. Richards
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An increase in metallothionein 1 (MT-1) mRNA was detected in the ovaries of immature Wistar rats that were primed with s.c. injection of 10 IU eCG followed 48 h later by 10 IU hCG s.c. to initiate the ovulatory process. Ovarian RNA was extracted at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 72, 144, and 288 h after the primed animals were injected with hCG. These extracts were used for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) differential display and Northern analyses that yielded complementary gene fragments for MT-1. Expression of MT-1 mRNA increased significantly by 24 h after hCG treatment and reached a peak at 144 h after hCG. In contrast, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs and a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1, which were also detected by the RT-PCR differential display procedure, reached a peak at 12 h after hCG and returned to control levels in the ovaries by 72 h after hCG. In situ hybridization indicated that most of the MT-1 mRNA was expressed in the vicinity of the theca interna of preovulatory follicles and in the lutein granulosa of postovulatory follicles. Thus, MT-1 mRNA expression is primarily in the vicinity of steroid-secreting areas of the ovary. The substantial increase in MT-1 mRNA expression might be important in protecting the ovarian tissues from oxidative stress generated by ovarian inflammatory events during the ovulatory process and luteinization.

L. L. Espey, T. Ujioka, H. Okamura, and J. S. Richards "Metallothionein-1 Messenger RNA Transcription in Steroid-Secreting Cells of the Rat Ovary During the Periovulatory Period," Biology of Reproduction 68(5), 1895-1902, (1 May 2003).
Received: 17 November 2002; Accepted: 1 December 2002; Published: 1 May 2003

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