Developmental coordination of luteinizing hormone/human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) receptors and acute hCG responsiveness in cultured and freshly harvested porcine granulosa cells.
A fundamental characteristic of ovarian antral follicle development is the progressive differentiation of the granulosa cells, a process marked by an increase in their complement of LH receptors. In this study we investigated the coordinated expression of [125I]iodo-hCG binding sites and hCG-sensitive cAMP production in intact cells from normally differentiating antral follicles of increasing size and in cells maintained in monolayer culture under conditions known to facilitate differentiation. In addition to hCG responsiveness, basal, FSH-stimulated, and cholera toxin-stimulated cAMP production were compared. Granulosa cell [125I]iodo-hCG binding capacity was directly related to follicle size; thus, binding provided a convenient marker of cell maturation, which, in turn, reflected the state of follicle development. Basal and hCG-stimulated cAMP production increased as a function of cellular LH/hCG receptor binding. Whereas basal activity increased linearly and proportionately with LH/hCG receptor binding, hCG-stimulated cAMP production was not linearly proportional. FSH responsiveness in terms of cAMP production declined as a function of LH/hCG receptor binding, exhibiting first order decay. While the patterns of FSH- and hCG-stimulated cAMP production were inversely related throughout much of follicle development, cholera toxin (CTX) responsiveness of cells remained constant until the very late preovulatory stages. Granulosa cells from large follicles (mean diameter, greater than 8 mm), having been exposed to the endogenous LH surge, exhibited high [125I]iodo-hCG binding but severely impaired hCG- and CTX-stimulated cAMP production, suggesting desensitization of adenylyl cyclase. In cultured granulosa cells, increased [125I]iodo-hCG binding induced by insulin and FSH was paralleled by an increased ability to generate cAMP in response to hCG. This coordinated expression of receptor and responsiveness was similar to that observed with progressively higher states of differentiation in freshly harvested cells. CTX-stimulated cAMP production in cells maintained in vitro was elevated and independent of LH receptor levels and, thus, was similar to that exhibited by freshly harvested cells. Granulosa cell cAMP production in response to acute FSH stimulation after chronic FSH treatment during culture was consistently lower than that of freshly harvested cells, a phenomenon that appeared to be related to the chronic dose of FSH used in vitro.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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