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Department of Animal Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agricultural, Food & Environment

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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The cAMP-EPAC Pathway Mediates PGE2-Induced FGF2 in Bovine Granulosa Cells


Shrestha, K. ; Meidan, R. The cAMP-EPAC Pathway Mediates PGE2-Induced FGF2 in Bovine Granulosa Cells. Endocrinologyendo 2018, 159, 3482 - 3491.

Date Published:



During the periovulatory period, the profile of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) coincides with elevated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels. We investigated whether PGE2 can directly stimulate FGF2 production in bovine granulosa cells and, if so, which prostaglandin E2 receptor (PTGER) type and signaling cascades are involved. PGE2 temporally stimulated FGF2. Accordingly, endoperoxide-synthase2–silenced cells, exhibiting low endogenous PGE2 levels, had reduced FGF2. Furthermore, elevation of viable granulosa cell numbers by PGE2 was abolished with FGF2 receptor 1 inhibitor, suggesting that FGF2 mediates this action of PGE2. Epiregulin (EREG), a known PGE2-inducible gene, was studied alongside FGF2. PTGER2 agonist elevated cAMP as well as FGF2 and EREG levels. However, a marked difference between cAMP-induced downstream signaling was observed for FGF2 and EREG. Whereas FGF2 upregulated by PGE2, PTGER2 agonist, or forskolin was unaffected by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89, EREG was significantly inhibited. FGF2 was dose-dependently stimulated by the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) activator; a similar induction was observed for EREG. However, forskolin-stimulated FGF2, but not EREG, was inhibited in EPAC1-silenced cells. These findings ascribe a novel autocrine role for PGE2, namely, elevating FGF2 production in granulosa cells. This study also reveals that cAMP-activated EPAC1, rather than PKA, mediates the effect of PGE2/PTGER2 on the expression of FGF2. Stimulation of EREG by PGE2 is also mediated by PTGER2 but, in contrast to FGF2, EREG was found to be PKA sensitive. PGE2-stimulated FGF2 can act to maintain granulosa cell survival; it can also act on ovarian endothelial cells to promote angiogenesis.