Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1 and STAT3 are expressed in the human ovary and have Janus kinase 1-independent functions in the COV434 human granulosa cell line.
journal contributionposted on 22.10.2020, 10:29 authored by ER Frost, EA Ford, AE Peters, NL Reed, EA McLaughlin, MA Baker, R Lovell-Badge, JM Sutherland
Ovarian granulosa cells are fundamental for oocyte maintenance and maturation. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of members of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signalling pathway in the granulosa cell population of mouse and horse ovaries, with perturbation of JAK1 signalling in the mouse shown to impair oocyte maintenance and accelerate primordial follicle activation. The presence and role of the JAK/STAT pathway in human granulosa cells has yet to be elucidated. In this study, expression of JAK1, STAT1 and STAT3 was detected in oocytes and granulosa cells of human ovarian sections from fetal (40 weeks gestation) and premenopausal ovaries (34-41 years of age; n=3). To determine the effects of JAK1 signalling in granulosa cells, the human granulosa-like cell line COV434 was used, with JAK1 inhibition using ruxolitinib. Chemical inhibition of JAK1 in COV434 cells with 100nM ruxolitinib for 72h resulted in significant increases in STAT3 mRNA (P=0.034) and p-Y701-STAT1 protein (P=0.0117), demonstrating a role for JAK1 in modulating STAT in granulosa cells. This study implicates a conserved role for JAK/STAT signalling in human ovary development, warranting further investigation of this pathway in human granulosa cell function.