Little is known about the ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) family of extracellular proteases in ovarian follicles of non‐rodent species, particularly in theca cells. In the present study, temporal changes in the abundance of mRNA encoding four ADAMTS subtypes and hormonal regulation of mRNA encoding two subtypes were investigated in theca interna cells during the periovulatory period in cattle. Gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (GnRH) was injected into animals to induce a luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle‐stimulating hormone (FSH) surge, and follicles were obtained at 0 hr post‐GnRH (preovulatory) or at 6, 12, 18, or 24 hr (periovulatory). ADAMTS1, ‐2, ‐7, and ‐9 transcript abundance was then determined in the isolated theca interna. ADAMTS1 and ‐9 mRNA levels were up‐regulated at 24 hr post‐GnRH, whereas ADAMTS2 mRNA was higher at 12–24 hr post‐GnRH and ADAMTS7 mRNA increased transiently at 12 hr post‐GnRH compared to other time points. Subsequent in vitro experiments using preovulatory theca interna (0 hr post‐GnRH) showed that application of LH in vitro can mimic the effects of the gonadotropin surge on mRNAs encoding ADAMTS1 and ‐9 and that progesterone/progesterone receptor and/or prostaglandins may regulate the levels of mRNA encoding ADAMTS1 and ‐9 in theca interna, downstream of the LH surge. Time‐ and subtype‐specific changes in ADAMTS mRNA abundance in vivo, and their regulation in vitro by hormones, indicate that ADAMTS family members produced by theca cells may play important roles in follicle rupture and the accompanying tissue remodeling in cattle.

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Published in Molecular Reproduction & Development, v. 84, issue 1, p. 55-66.

© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Willis, E. L., Bridges, P. J., & Fortune, J. E. (2017). Progesterone receptor and prostaglandins mediate luteinizing hormone‐induced changes in messenger RNAs for ADAMTS proteases in theca cells of bovine periovulatory follicles. Molecular Reproduction & Development, 84(1), 55-66, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/mrd.22761. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (HD41592 to JEF) and a Lalor Foundation Fellowship (to PJB).