Temporal and spatial expression profiles of Frizzled 3 in the ovary during the estrous cycle

Genet Mol Res. 2016 Jan 8;15(1). doi: 10.4238/gmr.15017152.


Frizzled 3 is an important receptor in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, a conserved signaling pathway that regulates gene expression and controls diverse developmental processes. However, the role of this protein during follicular development in the adult ovary is not known. The present study was designed to investigate the expression and localization of Frizzled 3 mRNA and protein during the estrous cycle in the mouse ovary through in situ hybridization (ISH), real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry and western blot. ISH results showed that in proestrus, high expression of Frizzled 3 was found in the granulosa and stroma with weak levels in the corpus luteum. In estrus and diestrus, the stroma had high Frizzled 3 expression, but levels were low in granulosa cells and corpus luteum. In the metestrus, moderate expression of Frizzled 3 was found in the stroma but low to no expression was found in luteal cells and follicles. The mRNA and protein levels of Frizzled 3 were found to be the highest in proestrus and diestrus compared to estrus and metestrus (P < 0.05), confirming the ISH results. During estrus and diestrus, high Frizzled 3 expression was observed in the stroma and moderate levels in granulosa cells, and during estrus and proestrus, low expression was seen in the oocyte cell membrane. The western blot results further confirmed this change during the estrous cycle. Together, these results indicate that Frizzled 3 is involved in regulating follicular development and oocyte maturation during the estrous cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Luteum / growth & development
  • Corpus Luteum / metabolism*
  • Corpus Luteum / ultrastructure
  • Diestrus / genetics
  • Estrus / genetics
  • Female
  • Frizzled Receptors / genetics*
  • Frizzled Receptors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Oocytes / growth & development
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure
  • Ovarian Follicle / growth & development
  • Ovarian Follicle / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Follicle / ultrastructure
  • Proestrus / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors


  • Frizzled Receptors
  • Fzd3 protein, mouse