Alpha/Beta Hydrolase Domain-Containing Protein 2 regulates the rhythm of follicular maturation and estrous stages of the female reproductive cycle

Ida Björkgren, Dong Hwa Chung, Sarah Mendoza, Liliya Gabelev-Khasin, Andrew Modzelewski, Lin He, and Polina V. Lishko

Jul 02, 2019

Received Date: 18th June 19

Therian female fertility is defined by a successful and strictly periodic ovarian cycle, which is under the control of gonadotropins and steroid hormones, particularly progesterone and estrogen. The latter two are produced by the ovaries that are engaged in controlled follicular growth, maturation and release of the eggs, i.e. ovulation. It is well known that steroid hormones regulate ovarian cycles via genomic signaling, by altering gene transcription and protein synthesis. However, despite this well-studied mechanism, steroid hormones can also signal via direct, non-genomic action, by binding to their membrane receptors. Here we show, that the recently discovered sperm membrane progesterone receptor α/β hydrolase domain-containing protein 2 (ABHD2) is highly expressed in mammalian ovaries where the protein plays a novel regulatory role in follicle maturation and the sexual cycle of females. Ablation of Abhd2 caused a dysregulation of the estrous cycle rhythm with females showing shortened luteal stages while remaining in the estrus stage for a longer time. Interestingly, the ovaries of Abhd2 knockout (KO) females resemble polycystic ovary morphology with a high number of atretic antral follicles that could be rescued with injection of gonadotropins. Such a procedure also allowed Abhd2 KO females to ovulate a significantly increased number of mature and fertile eggs in comparison to their wild-type 
littermates. These results suggest a novel regulatory role of ABHD2 as an important factor in nongenomic steroid regulation of the female reproductive cycle.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature