Effects of cytokines on porcine granulosa cell steroidogenesis in vitro.
Recent evidence indicates that factors produced by immune cells (cytokines) may play a role in ovarian function. To explore this possibility, we examined the effects of conditioned medium obtained from cultures of either unstimulated splenocytes (splenocyte-conditioned medium; SCM) or concanavalin A-stimulated splenocytes (CAS) on estrogen and progesterone production by porcine granulosa cells. Granulosa cells were obtained from small (less than 3 mm) or large (greater than 7 mm) follicles and treated with increasing doses of SCM or CAS in the presence or absence of pFSH (100 ng/ml) for 24 h at 37 degrees C. In granulosa cells obtained from small follicles it was found that both SCM and CAS evoked a dose-dependent increase in estrogen but not progesterone production. Estrogen production was no further enhanced by the presence of FSH. Additionally, SCM was able to augment FSH-stimulated progesterone production by these cells, whereas CAS had no effect. Identical treatment of granulosa cells obtained from large follicles demonstrated that both SCM and CAS caused dose-dependent increases in estrogen as well as progesterone production. In response to CAS, FSH augmented progesterone production but exerted a biphasic on estrogen production (inhibiting at lower doses while stimulating at higher doses). In contrast, SCM had no effect on FSH-stimulated estrogen production. Additional controls indicated that the above results could not be attributed to either concanavalin A or serum. Taken together, these findings suggest that cytokines can exert significant effects over granulosa cell steroidogenesis and further imply that these factors may play an important role in the differentiation and developmental regulation of granulosa cell function.
Hughes, FM; Lane, TA; Chen, TT; Gorospe, WC
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