Alteration in follistatin gene expression detected in prenatally androgenized rats.
Marziyeh Salehi Jahromi
Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani
Jennifer W Hill
MetadataShow full item record
Impaired ovarian follicle development, the hallmark of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), is believed to be due to the changes in expression of related genes such as follistatin (FST). Expression of FST gene and methylation level of its promoter in theca cells from adult female rats, prenatally exposed to androgen excess, during different phases of the estrus cycle was determined and compared with controls. Eight pregnant Wistar rats (experimental group) were treated by subcutaneous injection of 5 mg free testosterone on day 20 of pregnancy, while controls (n = 8) received 500 ml solvent. Based on observed vaginal smear, adult female offspring of mothers were divided into three groups. Levels of serum steroidogenic sexual hormones and gonadotropins, expression and promoter methylation of the FST gene were measured using ELISA, cyber-green real-time PCR and bisulfite sequence PCR (BSP), respectively. Compared to controls, the relative expression of FST gene in the treated group decreased overall by 0.85 fold; despite significant changes in different phases, but no significant differences in methylation of FST promoter. Our results reveal that manifestation of PCOS-like phenotype following prenatal exposure to excess androgen is associated with irregularity in expression of the FST gene during the estrus cycle.