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Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science


Granulosa cells (GCs) of ovarian follicles prefer glucose as a metabolic substrate for growth and maturation. Disruption of glucose utilization via the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) impairs O-linked N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAcylation) and inhibits proliferation of bovine GCs of both small (3–5 mm) and large (>8.5 mm) antral follicles. Knowing that 2–5% of all glucose in cells is utilized via the HBP, the aim of this study was to characterize glucose metabolism in bovine GCs and determine the impact of the HBP and O-GlcNAcylation on metabolic activity. The GCs were initially cultured in serum-containing medium to confluency and then sub-cultured in serum-free medium in 96 well plates (n = 10 ovary pairs). The cells were exposed to vehicle and inhibitors of the HBP and O-GlcNAcylation for 24 h. Extracellular acidification rate (ECAR; an indicator of glycolysis) and oxygen consumption rate (OCR; an indicator of oxidative phosphorylation) of the GCs were measured using a Seahorse xFe96 Analyzer, including the implementation of glycolytic and mitochondrial stress tests. GCs from small antral follicles exhibited overall greater metabolic activity than GCs from large antral follicles as evidenced by increased ECAR and OCR. Inhibition of the HBP and O-GlcNAcylation had no effect on the metabolic activity of GCs from either type of follicle. The glycolytic stress test indicated that GCs from both types of follicles possessed additional glycolytic capacity; but again, inhibition of the HBP and O-GlcNAcylation did not affect this. Interestingly, inhibition of cellular respiration by 2-Deoxy-D-glucose impaired OCR only in GCs from small antral follicles, but exposure to the mitochondrial stress test had no effect. Conversely, in GCs from large antral follicles, oxidative metabolism was impaired by the mitochondrial stress test and was accompanied by a concomitant increase in glycolytic metabolism. Immunodetection of glycolytic enzymes revealed that phosphofructokinase expression is increased in GCs of small antral follicles compared to large follicles. Inhibition of O-GlcNAcylation impaired the expression of hexokinase only in GCs of small antral follicles. Inhibition of O-GlcNAcylation also impaired the expression of phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase in GCs of both types of follicles, but had no effect on the expression of lactate dehydrogenase. The results indicate that GCs of small antral follicles possess greater aerobic glycolytic capacity than GCs from large antral follicles; but disruption of the HBP and O-GlcNAcylation has little to no impact on metabolic activity.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology



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