A spatiotemporal molecular atlas of the ovulating mouse ovary

Abstract

Ovulation is essential for reproductive success, yet the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are far from clear. Here, we applied high-resolution spatiotemporal transcriptomics to map out cell-type- and ovulation-stage-specific molecular programs as function of time during follicle maturation and ovulation in mice. Our analysis revealed dynamic molecular transitions within granulosa cell types that occur in tight coordination with mesenchymal cell proliferation. We identified new molecular markers for the emerging cumulus cell fate during the preantral-to-antral transition. We describe transcriptional programs that respond rapidly to ovulation stimulation and those associated with follicle rupture, highlighting the prominent roles of apoptotic and metabolic pathways during the final stages of follicle maturation. We further report stage-specific oocyte-cumulus cell interactions and diverging molecular differentiation in follicles approaching ovulation. Collectively, this study provides insights into the cellular and molecular processes that regulate mouse ovarian follicle maturation and ovulation with important implications for advancing therapeutic strategies in reproductive medicine.

Publication Specs

Publication Specs

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