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Human reproduction (Oxford, England)

Mitochondrial SIRT3 and its target glutamate dehydrogenase are altered in follicular cells of women with reduced ovarian reserve or advanced maternal age.


PMID 24771001

Abstract

Is the activity of sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) altered in granulosa and cumulus cells from young women with reduced ovarian reserve or women of advanced maternal age? SIRT3 mRNA and active protein in granulosa and cumulus cells were decreased in women with reduced ovarian reserve and advanced maternal age. Young women with reduced ovarian reserve or women of advanced maternal age have reduced oocyte viability, possibly due to altered granulosa and cumulus cell metabolism. The mitochondrial SIRT3 protein may be implicated in these processes as it is able to sense the metabolic state of the cell and alter mitochondrial protein function post-translationally. This is a prospective cohort study, in which women (n = 72) undergoing routine IVF/ICSI were recruited and allocated to one of three cohorts based on age and ovarian reserve (as assessed by serum anti-Mullerian hormone level). Women were classified as young (≤35 years) or of advanced maternal age (≥40 years). Granulosa and cumulus cells were collected. SIRT3 mRNA and protein levels and protein activity was analysed in granulosa and cumulus cells via quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blotting, and deacetylation activity, respectively. Activity of the glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) enzyme, a known target of SIRT3, was assessed, and acetylated proteins in mitochondria isolated from granulosa and cumulus cells were separated by immunoprecipitation and acetylation of GDH assessed by western blotting. Data for women with good prognosis (young women with normal ovarian reserve) were compared with those from young women with reduced ovarian reserve and those of advanced maternal age. SIRT3 mRNA and active protein were present in granulosa and cumulus cells and co-localized to the mitochondria. SIRT3 mRNA in granulosa cells was decreased in young women with reduced ovarian reserve and advanced maternal age versus young women with normal ovarian reserve (P < 0.05). SIRT3 mRNA in cumulus cells was decreased in women of advanced maternal age versus young women with normal ovarian reserve only (P < 0.05). Granulosa cell GDH activity was decreased in young women with reduced ovarian reserve and in women of advanced maternal age (P < 0.05), whereas cumulus cell GDH activity was reduced in the advanced maternal age group only (P < 0.05). The acetylation profile of GDH in mitochondria revealed increased acetylation of GDH in granulosa and cumulus cells from women of advanced maternal age (P < 0.05) while young women with reduced ovarian reserve had increased GDH acetylation in granulosa cells only (P < 0.05). Although patients were allocated to groups based on maternal age and ovarian reserve and matched for BMI, other maternal factors may also alter the 'molecular health' of ovarian cells. Our data suggest that SIRT3 post-translational modification of mitochondrial enzymes in human granulosa and cumulus cells may regulate GDH activity, thus altering the metabolic milieu surrounding the developing oocyte. Owing to the association between the decline in oocyte quality and pregnancy rates in women of advanced maternal age and the possible association with reduced ovarian reserve, knowledge of perturbed SIRT3 function in granulosa and cumulus cells may lead to novel therapies to improve mitochondrial metabolism in the oocyte and follicular cells in women undergoing IVF treatment. No conflicts of interest to declare. Research was funded by an NHMRC project grant.