Estrogen and progesterone production by granulosa cell monolayers derived from in vitro fertilization procedures: lack of evidence for modulation by androgen.
The role(s) of androgens in the steroidogenic regulation of human granulosa cell production of estrogen and progesterone during monolayer culture was studied. These cells were exposed in vivo to human menopausal gonadotropin and hCG gonadotropin with or without clomiphene citrate. Steroid production rates were compared between cells cultured in control medium and those cultured in medium containing a nonaromatizable androgen [dihydrotestosterone (DHT)] or an aromatizable androgen [androstenedione (A'D)]. Some cultures received A'D from 3-12 days; other cultures received DHT alone for 3, 6, or 9 days before the addition of A'D for 3 days. The effect on steroid production during the culture interval before the addition of A'D also was evaluated. Exposure to A'D increased estrogen production over 50-fold compared with that in control cells or those treated with DHT (P less than 0.001). DHT also failed to alter estrogen production when A'D was added to cultures. Furthermore, the delay in introducing A'D to the cultures for up to 9 days did not decrease subsequent estrogen production compared with that in cultures continually exposed to A'D or DHT plus A'D. Progesterone production was substantial for at least 12 days of culture and was unaffected by the presence of androgen. These results do not confirm previous studies using murine or porcine granulosa cells, which suggested that androgen receptor-dependent mechanisms were involved in increasing estrogen and/or progesterone production in vitro. Rather, they indicate that androgen may not be required to maintain aromatase capability per se in human granulosa-luteal cells previously exposed to ovulation-inducing quantities of gonadotropin.
Bernhisel, MA; Holman, JF; Haney, AF; Schomberg, DW
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