VISFATIN (NAMPT) Improves in Vitro IGF1-Induced Steroidogenesis and IGF1 Receptor Signaling Through SIRT1 in Bovine Granulosa Cells1

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VISFATIN is a novel adipokine, also known as a nicotinamide phosphorybosyltransferase (NAMPT), that is able to modulate different processes, including lipid and glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Recent data suggest that it also plays a role in reproductive function in rats, humans, and chickens. Here we identified VISFATIN in the bovine ovary and investigated the in vitro effects of this hormone on granulosa cell steroidogenesis and proliferation and oocyte maturation. By RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry, we found VISFATIN in various ovarian cells, including granulosa and theca cells, corpus luteum, and oocytes. In cultured bovine granulosa cells, we showed that IGF1 (10-8 M) and VISFATIN (10 and 100 ng/ml) but not FSH (10-8 M) increased mRNA expression levels ofNAMPTafter 48 h of stimulation. Moreover, we observed that human recombinant VISFATIN (hVisf, 10 ng/ml, 48 h) increased the release of progesterone and estradiol secretion, and this was associated with an increase in the protein level of STAR, the HSD3B activity, and the phosphorylation levels of IGF1R and MAPK ERK1/2 in the presence or absence of IGF1 (10-8 M). All these effects were abolished when NAMPT was knocked down and when the sirtuin pharmacological inhibitors CHIC-35 (60 nM) and EX-527 (0.5 μM) were preincubated in bovine granulosa cells. Thus, in cultured bovine granulosa cells, VISFATIN improves basal and IGF1-induced steroidogenesis and IGF1 receptor signaling through SIRT1.

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