In vitro development of sheep preantral follicles.
Preantral ovarian follicles isolated from prepubertal sheep ovaries were individually cultured for 6 days in the presence of increasing doses of FSH (ranging from 0.01 to 1 microg/ml) and under two different oxygen concentrations, 20% and 5% O2. Follicle development was evaluated on the basis of antral cavity formation as well as the presence of healthy cumulus oocyte complexes. Follicle growth was enhanced by FSH addition to culture medium, while the use of a low oxygen concentration slightly stimulated this process. However, when follicles were cultured in the presence of high doses of FSH (1 microgram/ml) and under low oxygen concentration, a high proportion of them showed the presence of an antral cavity and of a healthy cumulus-oocyte complex. In addition, under this specific culture condition sheep preantral follicles released higher levels of estradiol as compared to those secreted at lower FSH concentrations or under 20% O2. When the meiotic competence of oocytes derived from follicles cultured at 1 microgram/ml FSH was assessed, no significant difference was recorded between the two oxygen groups. These results show that the culture conditions here identified are beneficial to in vitro growth and differentiation of sheep preantral follicles. (+info)
Prolactin replacement fails to inhibit reactivation of gonadotropin secretion in rams treated with melatonin under long days.
This study tested the hypothesis that prolactin (PRL) inhibits gonadotropin secretion in rams maintained under long days and that treatment with melatonin (s.c. continuous-release implant; MEL-IMP) reactivates the reproductive axis by suppressing PRL secretion. Adult Soay rams were maintained under long days (16L:8D) and received 1) no further treatment (control, C); 2) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and injections of saline/vehicle for the first 8 wk (M); 3) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and exogenous PRL (s.c. 5 mg ovine PRL 3x daily) for the first 8 wk (M+P). The treatment with melatonin induced a rapid increase in the blood concentrations of FSH and testosterone, rapid growth of the testes, an increase in the frequency of LH pulses, and a decrease in the LH response to N-methyl-D,L-aspartic acid. The concomitant treatment with exogenous PRL had no effect on these reproductive responses but caused a significant delay in the timing of the sexual skin color and growth of the winter pelage. These results do not support the hypothesis and suggest that PRL at physiological long-day concentrations, while being totally ineffective as an inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion, acts in the peripheral tissues and skin to maintain summer characteristics. (+info)
Activities of glucose metabolic enzymes in human preantral follicles: in vitro modulation by follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor I, and transforming growth factor beta1.
Modulation of glucose metabolic capacity of human preantral follicles in vitro by gonadotropins and intraovarian growth factors was evaluated by monitoring the activities of phosphofructokinase (PFK) and pyruvate kinase (PK), two regulatory enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), a key mitochondrial enzyme of the Krebs cycle. Preantral follicles in classes 1 and 2 from premenopausal women were cultured separately in vitro in the absence or presence of FSH, LH, epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), or transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) for 24 h. Mitochondrial fraction was separated from the cytosolic fraction, and both fractions were used for enzyme assays. FSH and LH significantly stimulated PFK and PK activities in class 1 and 2 follicles; however, a 170-fold increase in MDH activity was noted for class 2 follicles that were exposed to FSH. Although both EGF and TGFbeta1 stimulated glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzymes for class 1 preantral follicles, TGFbeta1 consistently stimulated the activities of both glycolytic enzymes more than that of EGF. IGF-I induced PK and MDH activities in class 1 follicles but negatively influenced PFK activity for class 1 follicles. In general, only gonadotropins consistently stimulated both glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzyme activities several-fold in class 2 follicles. These results suggest that gonadotropins and ovarian growth factors differentially influence follicular energy-producing capacity from glucose. Moreover, gonadotropins may either directly influence glucose metabolism in class 2 preantral follicles or do so indirectly through factors other than the well-known intraovarian growth factors. Because growth factors modulate granulosa cell mitosis and functionality, their role on energy production may be related to specific cellular activities. (+info)
The mechanism of action of epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor alpha on aromatase activity in granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries.
We investigated aromatization and the mechanism of action of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha) on oestradiol biosynthesis in freshly prepared granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries. Freshly prepared granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries incubated for only 3 h under basal conditions secreted significantly (P< 0.001) greater amounts of oestradiol-17beta than that of granulosa cells from normal ovaries. 8-Bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP), but not follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH), further enhanced this activity. Both EGF and TGFalpha inhibited gonadotrophinor 8-Br-cAMP-stimulated, but not basal, oestradiol production. LH receptor (LHR) binding, estimated by immunolabelling the bound LH, was significantly (P< 0.001) reduced in granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries when compared with cells from normal ovaries. EGF or TGFalpha significantly reduced the binding in cultured cells from all patient groups (P< 0.05). More interestingly, a further increase of the inhibitory effect was seen in granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries (P < 0.001). In conclusion, granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries contain high levels of basal aromatase activity in vitro, which is probably inherited from the in-vivo condition. EGF and TGFalpha suppress oestradiol synthesis at a step beyond the production of cAMP and also LHR binding with more effect in granulosa cells from polycystic ovaries. (+info)
Effect of long-term food restriction on pituitary sensitivity to cLHRH-I in broiler breeder females.
The effect of long-term food restriction on the sensitivity of the pituitary to exogenously administered chicken luteinizing hormone releasing hormone I (cLHRH-I) was investigated in three groups of broiler breeder females fed ad libitum, fed a restricted quantity of food or fed a restricted quantity of food to obtain an intermediate body weight between those of the first two groups. At 16 weeks of age, basal FSH release was higher in ad libitum fed birds, culminating in ovarian development and subsequent oestradiol production by the small follicles. At this age, LH secretion was independent of ovarian feedback factors. In all groups, cLHRH-I was most active in releasing LH in intact and ovariectomized animals and, to a lesser extent, in releasing FSH in ovariectomized birds. At 39 weeks of age, basal FSH concentrations were similar among intact animals of all groups, whereas LH concentrations differed among groups, with higher values in the restricted birds. This food effect was enhanced in ovariectomized birds. Furthermore, the high response to cLHRH-I in the ovariectomized, restricted birds compared with the ad libitum, ovariectomized group suggests an improved sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. In conclusion, birds fed ad libitum showed the highest responsiveness to ovarian factors and to cLHRH-I in releasing FSH in the period before sexual maturity. No effect of amount of feeding could be observed for LH. However, during the egg laying period, LH release by cLHRH-I was highly dependent on amount of feeding and on ovarian feedback regulation. This finding indicates that the amount of feeding can modify the sensitivity of the pituitary to cLHRH-I, and possibly to gonadal hormones, during the laying period. (+info)
Time at surgery during menstrual cycle and menopause affects pS2 but not cathepsin D levels in breast cancer.
Many studies have addressed the clinical value of pS2 as a marker of hormone responsiveness and of cathepsin D (Cath D) as a prognostic factor in breast cancer. Because pS2 and Cath D are both oestrogen induced in human breast cancer cell lines, we studied the influence of the menstrual cycle phase and menopausal status at the time of surgery on the levels of these proteins in breast cancer. A population of 1750 patients with breast cancer, including 339 women in menstrual cycle, was analysed. Tumoral Cath D and pS2 were measured by radioimmunoassay. Serum oestradiol (E2), progesterone (Pg), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels at the day of surgery were used to define the hormonal phase in premenopausal women. There was a trend towards a higher mean pS2 level in the follicular phase compared with the luteal phase (17 ng mg(-1) and 11 ng mg(-1) respectively, P = 0.09). Mean pS2 was lower in menopausal patients than in women with cycle (8 ng mg(-1) and 14 ng mg(-1) respectively, P = 0.0001). No differences in mean Cath D level were observed between the different phases of the menstrual cycle, or between pre- and post-menopausal women. In the overall population, pS2 was slightly positively associated with E2 and Pg levels and negatively associated with FSH and LH, probably reflecting the link between pS2 and menopausal status. In premenopausal women, no association was found between pS2 and E2, Pg, FSH or LH levels. There were no correlations between Cath D level and circulating hormone levels in the overall population. However, in the subgroup of premenopausal women with ER-positive (ER+) tumours, E2 was slightly associated with both pS2 and Cath D, consistent with oestrogen induction of these proteins in ER+ breast cancer cell lines. There are changes in pS2 level in breast cancer throughout the menstrual cycle and menopause. This suggests that the choice of the pS2 cut-off level should take the hormonal status at the time of surgery into account. In contrast, the level of Cath D is unrelated to the menstrual cycle and menopausal status. (+info)
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection after follicle stimulation with highly purified human follicle-stimulating hormone compared with human menopausal gonadotropin.
PURPOSE: Our purpose was to compare oocyte nuclear maturation and embryo quality after pituitary down-regulation and ovarian stimulation with highly purified follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or human menopausal gonadotropin (HMG). METHODS: Fifty-five patients 37 years of age or younger who were undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF)-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were evaluated retrospectively. In all cases, male factor was the only indication for treatment, with no female-related factors identified. Following pituitary down-regulation, patients were stimulated with hMG (n = 20) or highly purified FSH (n = 35). Main outcome measures included ovarian response to stimulation, oocyte maturity, and ICSI fertilization results. Secondary outcome measures included pregnancy rates and outcome. RESULTS: The ovarian response to stimulation was similar for the two groups, as were the percentage of metaphase II oocytes, fertilization and cleavage rates, and number and quality of transferred and cryopreserved embryos. Cycle outcome was comparable. CONCLUSIONS: In normogonadotropic subjects, monocomponent therapy with highly purified FSH is as effective as hMG in stimulating ovarian follicular development, synchronization of oocyte maturation, and IVF-ICSI outcome. Our findings support the conclusion that the luteinizing hormone component in the stimulation protocol is unnecessary. (+info)