Membrane Type 1-Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)-Associated MMP-2 Activation Increases in the Rat Ovary in Response to an Ovulatory Dose of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Misung Jo, Lauren E. Thomas, Sarah E. Wheeler, Thomas E. Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gonadotropins stimulate ovarian proteolytic enzyme activity that is believed to be important for the remodeling of the follicular extracellular matrix. Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) has been identified in vitro as an activator of pro-MMP-2 by forming a complex with tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2). In the present study, the expression pattern of MT1-MMP mRNA and the role of MT1-MMP were examined in the ovary using the gonadotropin-treated immature rat model. Ovaries were collected at selected times after eCG or hCG. RNase protection assays revealed a transient increase in MT1-MMP mRNA beginning 4 h after hCG. High expression of MT1-MMP mRNA was localized to the theca-interstitial layer of developing and preovulatory follicles, while low expression was observed in the granulosa cell layer of developing follicles by in situ hybridization. The localization pattern of MT1-MMP mRNA was compared with TIMP-2 mRNA. Both MMP-2 and TIMP-2 mRNA were expressed in the theca layer of preovulatory follicles, showing a similarity to MT1-MMP mRNA expression. To further determine whether MT1-MMP activates pro-MMP-2 in the ovary, crude plasma membrane fractions from preovulatory ovaries were analyzed by gelatin zymography. In plasma membrane fractions, pro-MMP-2 increased around the time of ovulation. Upon incubation, pro-MMP-2 was activated with the highest levels of activation at 12 h post-hCG. The addition of MT1-MMP antibody or excess TIMP-2 to membrane fractions inhibited pro-MMP-2 activation. The increase in MT1-MMP mRNA may be an important part of the mechanism necessary for the efficient generation of active MMP-2 during the ovulatory process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1032
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Follicle
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Ovary
  • Ovulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine

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