Thuwanut, Paweena, Comizzoli, Pierre, Wildt, David E., Keefer, Carol L., and Songsasen, Nucharin. 2017. "Stem cell factor promotes in vitro ovarian follicle development in the domestic cat by upregulating c-kit mRNA expression and stimulating the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway." Reproduction Fertility and Development 29 (7):1356-1368. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16071
In the present study we examined the effects of stem cell factor (SCF; 50 vs 100 ngmL(-1)) alone or in combination with epidermal growth factor (EGF; 100 ngmL(-1)) on: (1) the in vitro viability and growth of cat follicles within ovarian cortices; (2) phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation; and (3) c-kit and FSH receptor (FSHr) mRNAexpression. At 100 ngmL(-1), SCF increased (P <= 0.05) the percentage and size of secondary follicles after 14 days of in vitro culture and sustained AKT phosphorylation after 3 days incubation. EGF suppressed this beneficial effect and reduced (P <= 0.05) the percentage of structurally normal follicles and FSHr expression when combined with 100 ngmL(-1) SCF. Expression of c-kit mRNA was higher (P <= 0.05) in the presence of 100 ngmL(-1) SCF compared with fresh follicles and cohorts cultured under other conditions. A c-kit inhibitor suppressed follicle growth and reduced AKT phosphorylation. Collectively, the results demonstrate that SCF promotes cat follicle development by upregulating c-kit mRNA expression and AKT phosphorylation. EGF suppresses the stimulating effect of SCF, leading to downregulation of FSHr expression.