Effects of melatonin on the proliferation and apoptosis of sheep granulosa cells under thermal stress

Yao Fu, Chang Jiu He, Peng Yun Ji, Zhi Yong Zhuo, Xiu Zhi Tian, Feng Wang, Dun Xian Tan, Guo Shi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The cross-talk between oocyte and somatic cells plays a crucial role in the regulation of follicular development and oocyte maturation. As a result, granulosa cell apoptosis causes follicular atresia. In this study, sheep granulosa cells were cultured under thermal stress to induce apoptosis, and melatonin (MT) was examined to evaluate its potential effects on heat-induced granulosa cell injury. The results demonstrated that the Colony Forming Efficiency (CFE) of granulosa cells was significantly decreased (heat 19.70% ± 1.29% vs. control 26.96% ± 1.81%, p < 0.05) and the apoptosis rate was significantly increased (heat 56.16% ± 13.95% vs. control 22.80% ± 12.16%, p < 0.05) in granulosa cells with thermal stress compared with the control group. Melatonin (10−7M) remarkably reduced the negative effects caused by thermal stress in the granulosa cells. This reduction was indicated by the improved CFE and decreased apoptotic rate of these cells. The beneficial effects of melatonin on thermal stressed granulosa cells were not inhibited by its membrane receptor antagonist luzindole. A mechanistic exploration indicated that melatonin (10−7M) down-regulated p53 and up-regulated Bcl-2 and LHR gene expression of granulosa cells under thermal stress. This study provides evidence for the molecular mechanisms of the protective effects of melatonin on granulosa cells during thermal stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21090-21104
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 14 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Apoptosis
  • Granulosa cell
  • Melatonin
  • Proliferation
  • Sheep
  • Thermal stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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