The high concentration of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)derived peptides in human follicular fluid, which is several times higher than in plasma, suggested a local expression of the POMC gene. This has previously been observed in the animal ovaries. Peripheral POMC-like mRNAs are not translated in POMC-derived peptides but recent evidence supports the presence of a small amount of full-length transcript in human testes and lymphocytes. The purpose of this study was to test two hypotheses: firstly, that there is a different pattern of POMC mRNA expression in the human ovary of fertile and post-menopausal women, and secondly that there is a tissue-specific localization of POMC transcript. Northern blot analysis showed that a potential relationship exists between POMC gene expression and the reproductive age of a woman, and that POMC mRNA has a tissue-specific localization. The expression of POMC messenger in the ovarian parenchyma collected from women of fertile age and in the germinative follicles appeared higher than that observed in samples from postmenopausal women. No signals were detected in corpora lutea. In conclusion, we believe that the physiological role of the POMC gene in the human ovary remains an unsolved problem, necessitating more sensitive methods of mRNA detection as well as further studies in vitro. © 1995 Oxford University Press.
Genetics: Expression of pro-opiomelanocortin gene in human ovarian tissue / Gallinelli, A.; Garuti, G.; Matteo, M. L.; Genazzani, A. R.; Facchinetti, F.. - In: HUMAN REPRODUCTION. - ISSN 0268-1161. - 10:5(1995), pp. 1085-1089. [10.1093/oxfordjournals.humrep.a136099]