1. Institute of Reproductive Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China.
2. Center of Reproductive Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) have reduced fertility, but the underlying regulation of ovarian function remains unknown. Although differential microRNA (miRNA) expression has been described in several ovarian disorders, little is known about the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of DOR. In this study, we investigated the expression levels of miR-484 in granulosa cells (GCs) derived from human follicular fluid, and explored their correlation with female ovarian reserve function as well as clinical outcomes of assisted reproduction technology (ART). Additionally, we investigated the effects of miR-484 on the biological functions of GC cell lines in vitro. We found that miR-484 was highly expressed in GCs from DOR patients and was correlated with decreasing AMH levels and AFC, as well as increasing FSH levels, but not with LH, progesterone, or estradiol. Additionally, miR-484 was negatively related to the number of retrieved oocytes and the ratio of high-quality embryos. Moreover, we found that miR-484 repressed the proliferation of GCs and induced apoptosis, which can in part be attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction. Conversely, silencing miR-484 had the opposite effect. Multiple approaches, including bioinformatic analysis, RNA-seq, qPCR, immunofluorescence, western blotting and luciferase reporter assays, identified YAP1 as a direct target of miR-484 in GCs. Additionally, reintroduction of YAP1 rescued the effects of miR-484 in GCs. The present study indicates that miR-484 can directly target the mRNA of YAP1, induce mitochondrial dysfunction, and consequently reduce the viability and promote the apoptosis of granulosa cells, which contributes to the pathogenesis of DOR.