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Single-cell transcriptomics analysis of human small antral follicles

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Human ovarian folliculogenesis is a highly regulated and complex process. Characterization of follicular cell signatures during this dynamic process is important to understand follicle fate (to grow, become dominant, or undergo atresia). The transcriptional signature of human oocytes and granulosa cells (GCs) in early-growing and ovulatory follicles have been previously described; however, that of oocytes with surrounding GCs in small antral follicles have not been studied yet. Here, we have generated a unique dataset of single-cell transcriptomics (SmartSeq2) consisting of the oocyte with surrounding GCs from several individual (non-dominant) small antral follicles isolated from adult human ovaries. We have identified two main types of (healthy) follicles, with a distinct oocyte and GC signature. Using the CellphoneDB algorithm, we then investigated the bi-directional ligand-receptor interactions regarding the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), wingless-type (MMTV)-integration site (WNT), NOTCH, and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) signaling pathways between oocyte and GCs within each antral follicle type. Our work not only revealed the diversity of small antral follicles, but also contributes to fill the gap in mapping the molecular landscape of human folliculogenesis and oogenesis.
ISSN: 1422-0067
Issue: 21
Volume: 22
Publication year:2021