LepR tyrosine site mutation mice (Y123F) exhibit decreased serum E2 levels, immature reproductive organs, infertility as well as metabolic abnormalities. Although the actions of leptin and lepR in the control of reproductive function are thought to be exerted mainly via the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, relatively less is known regarding their local effects on the peripheral ovary, especially on steroid hormone synthesis. Meanwhile, whether the decreased fertility of Y123F mouse could be restored by gonadotropin has not been clear yet.
The serum levels of E2, P4, FSH, LH, T and leptin of Y123F and WT mice at the age of 12 weeks were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Immunohistochemistry was used to compare the distribution of hormone synthases (STAR, CYP11A1, CYP19A1, HSD17B7) and FSHR in adult mouse ovaries of two genotypes. Western blot and real-time PCR were used to detect the expression levels of four ovarian hormone synthases and JAK2-STAT3 / STAT5 signaling pathway in 4 and 12 weeks old mice, as well as the effects of exogenous hFSH stimulation on hormone synthases and FSHR.
Compared with WT mice, the serum levels of FSH, LH and E2 in 12-week-old Y123F mice were significantly decreased; T and leptin levels were significantly increased; but there was no significant difference of serum P4 levels. STAR, CYP11A1, HSD17B7 expression levels and the phosphorylation levels of JAK2 and STAT3 were significantly decreased in adult Y123F mice, while the expression of CYP19A1 and phospho-STAT5 were significantly increased. No significant differences were found between 4-week-old Y123F and WT mice. After exogenous hFSH stimulation, E2 levels and expression of CYP19A1 and HSD17B7 were significantly higher than that in the non-stimulated state, but significant differences still existed between Y123F and WT genotype mice under the same condition.
Abnormal sex hormone levels of Y123F mice were due to not only decreased gonadotropin levels in the central nervous system, but also ovarian hormone synthase abnormalities in the peripheral gonads. Both FSH signaling pathway and JAK2-STAT3/STAT5 signaling pathway were involved in regulation of ovarian hormone synthases expression. Exogenous FSH just partly improved the blood E2 levels and ovarian hormone synthase expression.