• steroidogenesis;
  • follicular dysfunction;
  • female cycle;
  • reproductive fitness


Estradiol produced by ovarian granulosa cells triggers the luteinizing hormone surge which in turn initiates ovulation in female mammals. Disturbances in estradiol production from granulosa cells are a major reason for reproductive dysfunctions in dairy cows. Endogenous estradiol production might be altered by reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL). Inhibition of lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1), a receptor of ox-LDL, leads to increased estrogenesis in granulosa cells. This activity is mediated by calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-dependent and ER-independent calcium pools. Inhibition of the LOX-1 signal transduction pathway is followed by mitochondrial alterations. The membrane potential ΔΨ increases and the ROS production decreases in mitochondria after blocking LOX-1. Our data indicate that blocking the LOX-1 receptor signal pathway might be a promising way to improve steroid hormone concentrations in metabolically highly active female mammals and, therefore, to defend against reproductive dysfunctions in humans and animals. © 2013 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry