Authors: Parkes, Wendena S.; Amargant, Farners; Zhou, Luhan T.; Villanueva, Cecilia E.; Duncan, Francesca E.; Pritchard, Michele T.
Issue: Genes (Basel). 2021 Jul 30;12(8):1186.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a major component of the ovarian stroma. Collagen and hyaluronan (HA) are critical ovarian stromal ECM molecules that undergo age-dependent changes in the mouse and human. How these matrix components are regulated and organized in other mammalian species with reproductive characteristics similar to women such as cows and pigs, has not been systematically investigated. Therefore, we performed histological, molecular, and biochemical analyses to characterize collagen and HA in these animals. Bovine ovaries had more collagen than porcine ovaries when assessed biochemically, and this was associated with species-specific differences in collagen gene transcripts: Col3a1 was predominant in cow ovaries while Col1a1 was predominant in pig ovaries. We also observed more HA in the porcine vs. bovine ovary. HA was distributed across three molecular weight ranges (<100 kDa, 100–300 kDa, and >300 kDa) in ovarian tissue and follicular fluid, with tissue having more >300 kDa HA than the other two ranges. Transcripts for HA synthesis and degradation enzymes, Has3 and Hyal2, respectively, were predominant in cow ovaries, whereas Has2, Kiaa1199, and Tmem2 tended to be predominant in pig ovaries. Together, our findings have implications for the composition, organization, and regulation of the ovarian ECM in large mammalian species, including humans.