Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by follicular dysplasia. An insufficient glycolysis-derived energy supply of granulosa cells (GCs) is an important cause of follicular dysplasia in PCOS. Follicular fluid (FF) exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proven to regulate the function of GCs. In this study, exosomes extracted from clinical FF samples were used for transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis, and a human ovarian granulocyte tumour cell line (KGN cells) was used for in vitro mechanistic studies.
In FF exosomal RNA-seq analysis, a decrease in glycolysis-related pathways was identified as an important feature of the PCOS group, and the differentially expressed miR-143-3p and miR-155-5p may be regulatory factors of glycolysis. By determining the effects of miR-143-3p and miR-155-5p on hexokinase (HK) 2, pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme M2 (PKM2), lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), pyruvate, lactate and apoptosis in KGN cells, we found that upregulated miR-143-3p expression in exosomes from the PCOS group inhibited glycolysis in KGN cells; knockdown of miR-143-3p significantly alleviated the decrease in glycolysis in KGN cells in PCOS. MiR-155-5p silencing attenuated glycolytic activation in KGN cells; overexpression of miR-155-5p significantly promoted glycolysis in KGN cells in PCOS. In this study, HK2 was found to be the mediator of miR-143-3p and miR-155-5p in FF-derived exosome-mediated regulation of glycolysis in KGN cells. Reduced glycolysis accelerated apoptosis of KGN cells, which mediated follicular dysplasia through ATP, lactate and apoptotic pathways.