The concentration of the important second messenger cAMP is regulated by phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and hence an attractive drug target. However, limited human data are available about the PDEs in the ovary. The aim of the present study was to describe and characterise the PDEs in the human ovary. Results were obtained by analysis of mRNA microarray data from follicles and granulosa cells (GCs), combined RT-PCR and enzymatic activity analysis in GCs, immunohistochemical analysis of ovarian sections and by studying the effect of PDE inhibitors on progesterone production from cultured GCs. We found that PDE3, PDE4, PDE7 and PDE8 are the major families present while PDE11A was not detected. PDE8B was differentially expressed during folliculogenesis. In cultured GCs, inhibition of PDE7 and PDE8 increased basal progesterone secretion while PDE4 inhibition increased forskolin-stimulated progesterone secretion. In conclusion, we identified PDE3, PDE4, PDE7 and PDE8 as the major PDEs in the human ovary.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2015, Vol 403C, p. 10-20