Methoxychlor inhibits growth of antral follicles by altering cell cycle regulators

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Methoxychlor (MXC) reduces fertility in female rodents, decreases antral follicle numbers, and increases atresia through oxidative stress pathways. MXC also inhibits antral follicle growth in vitro. The mechanism by which MXC inhibits growth of follicles is unknown. The growth of follicles is controlled, in part, by cell cycle regulators. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that MXC inhibits follicle growth by reducing the levels of selected cell cycle regulators. Further, we tested whether co-treatment with an antioxidant, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), prevents the MXC-induced reduction in cell cycle regulators. For in vivo studies, adult cycling CD-1 mice were dosed with MXC or vehicle for 20 days. Treated ovaries were subjected to immunohistochemistry for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining. For in vitro studies, antral follicles isolated from adult cycling CD-1 mouse ovaries were cultured with vehicle, MXC, and/or NAC for 48, 72 and 96 h. Levels of cyclin D2 (Ccnd2) and cyclin dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4) were measured using in vivo and in vitro samples. The results indicate that MXC decreased PCNA staining, and Ccnd2 and Cdk4 levels compared to controls. NAC co-treatment restored follicle growth and expression of Ccnd2 and Cdk4. Collectively, these data indicate that MXC exposure reduces the levels of Ccnd2 and Cdk4 in follicles, and that protection from oxidative stress restores Ccnd2 and Cdk4 levels. Therefore, MXC-induced oxidative stress may decrease the levels of cell cycle regulators, which in turn, results in inhibition of the growth of antral follicles.

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