Introduction: It has been suggested that there is a reciprocal communication between oviduct cells (OCs) and cumulus cells (CCs) via co-culture system, and oviductal secretions can improve oocyte development. In this research, we investigate whether exosomes derived from oviduct cells (oviductosome) would effectively improve physiological conditions of CCs and those beneficial effects are related with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway.
Methods: The OCs were collected by flushing in estrus stage dog and exosomes were obtained from cell culture medium. Firstly, to evaluate the effect of oviductosome on cellular condition, concentration/viability/proliferation rate of OCs were analyzed by treating with exosome formation inhibitor (GW4869) with different concentration of oviductosome. Secondly, CCs exposed to oviductosome were treated with gefitinib (EGFR inhibitor) to analyze the effect of oviductosome on CCs and their mRNA/protein levels related with EGFR pathway were analyzed. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test using GraphPad Prism 5.0.
Results: There are significant increased levels of cell concentration/viability/proliferation in GW4869 with 50 and 100ug of oviductosome. Also, 50ug of oviductosome can effectively restore GW4869/Gefitinib effects by up-regulating EGFR pathway related genes/protein levels on CCs.
Conclusion: We first demonstrated that oviductosome has beneficial effects on physiological condition of CCs. Moreover, we suggested the intercellular communication between oviductosome and CCs would be associated with EGFR pathway, which provides conclusive evidence in oocyte development.
This study was supported by National Research Foundation (NRF, 20142A1021187), Cooperative Research Program of RDA (CCAR, #PJ013954022018), Research Institute for Veterinary Science, and the BK21 plus program.