alexa Relative effects of activin and inhibin on steroid hormone synthesis in primate granulosa cells.
Diabetes & Endocrinology

Diabetes & Endocrinology

Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science

Author(s): Mir F, Hillier SG

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Abstract Ovarian granulosa cells produce inhibin and activin, structurally related proteins with potentials to directly modulate follicular steroidogenesis. The aim of the present study was to compare development-related effects of inhibin-A and activin-A on steroidogenesis in marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) granulosa cells. Granulosa cells from "immature" (< 1.0 mm diameter) and "mature" (> 2 mm diameter) follicles were incubated in serum-free culture medium for 96 h with and without peptide (1-100 ng/mL), in the presence and absence of gonadotropins [human (h) FSH or hLH] (10 ng/mL). Spent medium was collected and stored frozen for progesterone assay. Aromatase activity was determined by incubating cells for a further 6 h in the presence of 1 mumol testosterone and assaying accumulation of oestradiol. Granulosa cells from immature follicles showed characteristically low basal rates of steroid synthesis that were unaffected by treatment alone with either inhibin or activin. Treatment with hFSH stimulated both progesterone production and aromatase activity. Cotreatment with activin and hFSH further enhanced aromatase activity by up to 4-fold. The progesterone response to activin plus hFSH was related to the effect of hFSH in the absence of activin: high-level responsiveness to hFSH was suppressed by activin while low-level responsiveness was enhanced. Inhibin had no significant effect on FSH-responsive progesterone production, but at high concentrations (> 10 ng/mL) it caused slight (up to 30\%) reduction in FSH-induced aromatase activity. Granulosa cells from mature follicles showed relatively high basal rates of steroidogenesis, and treatment with inhibin did not influence either basal or gonadotropin responsive steroidogenesis. Treatment with activin had divergent effects on aromatase activity and progesterone synthesis in that it increased both basal and hLH-responsive aromatase activity (up to 11-fold), had no effect on basal progesterone production, and markedly suppressed (by more than 50\%) the progesterone response to hLH. These data reveal development-dependent effects of inhibin and activin on granulosa cell steroidogenesis that are likely to have physiological relevance to ovarian function in vivo. This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science

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