Although long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are reported to regulate follicular development and reproductive disease pathogenesis, the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. In this study, lncRNA expression profiling of different-sized healthy follicles from Hu sheep with different prolificacy revealed 50 613 lncRNAs. Numerous lncRNAs were differentially expressed among different comparison groups. This study characterized one novel transcript, lncRNA-412.25 (from healthy follicles with a diameter of >5 mm), which was predominantly expressed in the high prolificacy group and localized to the cytoplasm of granulosa cells (GCs). LncRNA-412.25 knockdown promoted and inhibited Hu sheep GC apoptosis and proliferation, respectively. Interestingly, lncRNA-412.25 could directly bind to miR-346, which can target the gene of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Knockdown of lncRNA-412.25 promoted GC apoptosis by downregulating LIF expression, where this effect was attenuated by miR-346. Moreover, the miR-346 inhibitor mitigated the lncRNA-412.25 knockdown-induced downregulation of phosphorylated protein of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which was validated using immunofluorescence analysis. Our results demonstrated that lncRNA-412.25 regulates GC proliferation and apoptosis in Hu sheep by binding to miR-346 and then activating the LIF/STAT3 pathway. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying prolificacy in sheep.
FASEB J (FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)
Cited: 0 times