Modulation of oestrogenic effects by progesterone antagonists in the rat uterus.
Antiprogestins can modulate oestrogenic effects in various oestrogen-dependent tissues, dependent on species, tissue, dose and duration of treatment. Enhanced oestrogenic responses to mifepristone and onapristone occur in vitro and in vivo. However, the antiprogestins mifepristone, onapristone, and ZK 137 316 can block the ability of oestradiol to increase endometrial growth in non-human primates. Our purposes were firstly, to decide whether mifepristone and onapristone had direct oestrogenic activity in vitro and in the uterus of spayed and immature rats, and secondly, to discover whether antiprogestins exhibit inhibitory effects on oestrogen action in the uterus in spayed, oestrogen-substituted rats. In transactivation assays, mifepristone induced oestrogenic response, whereas onapristone had only marginal effects on reporter gene transcription. In immature rats, onapristone and mifepristone markedly increased uterine weights, and onapristone, but not mifepristone significantly enhanced endometrial luminal epithelial height, a sensitive oestrogen parameter. Conversely, in spayed and adrenalectomized rats, neither onapristone nor mifepristone changed uterine weights or endometrial morphology, indicating that their effects in immature rats were indirect. In spayed, oestrogen-substituted rats, antiprogestins did not block oestradiol-stimulated endometrial growth and luminal and glandular epithelium were stimulated more after antiprogestin plus oestrogen, than after oestradiol alone. All compounds induced compaction of the uterine stroma. In spayed rats, onapristone and some other 13alpha-configured (type 1) antagonists (ZK 135 569, ZK 131 535) reduced oestradiol-stimulated myometrial proliferation and induced an overall uterine weight reduction in animals treated with oestrogen and antiprogestins, in comparison with oestradiol-treated controls. 13beta- configured (type II) antagonists, including mifepristone, lilopristone and ZK 112 993, were not effective. In the uteri of spayed rats, onapristone was also found to enhance the oestradiol-stimulatory effect on expression of the oestrogen-dependent proto-oncogene, c-fos. In conclusion, antiprogestins do not inhibit, but rather enhance, oestrogen-induced uterine glandular and luminal epithelium in spayed rats, contrary to their effects in primates. The rat model is unsuitable to study endometrial antiproliferative effects of antiprogestins in primate uteri. (+info)
Altered leucocyte trafficking and suppressed tumour necrosis factor alpha release from peripheral blood monocytes after intra-articular glucocorticoid treatment.
OBJECTIVES: A generalised transient improvement may follow intra-articular administration of glucocorticoids to patients with inflammatory arthropathy. This may represent a systemic anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoid released from the joint, mediated through processes such as altered leucocyte trafficking or suppressed release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Patients, who had received intra-articular injections of glucocorticoids were therefore studied for evidence of these two systemic effects. METHODS: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were studied. Peripheral blood leucocyte counts, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) release by peripheral blood monocytes, blood cortisol concentrations, and blood methylprednisolone concentration were measured for 96 hours after intra-articular injection of methylprednisolone acetate. RESULTS: Measurable concentrations of methylprednisolone were present in blood for up to 96 hours after injection. Significant suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis persisted throughout this time. Altered monocyte and lymphocyte trafficking, as evidenced by peripheral blood monocytopenia and lymphopenia, was apparent by four hours after injection and resolved in concordance with the elimination of methylprednisolone. Granulocytosis was observed at 24 and 48 hours. Release of TNF alpha by endotoxin stimulated peripheral blood monocytes was suppressed at four hours and thereafter. Suppression was maximal at eight hours and was largely reversed by the glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone. CONCLUSIONS: After intra-articular injection of methylprednisolone, blood concentrations of glucocorticoid are sufficient to suppress monocyte TNF alpha release for at least four days and to transiently alter leucocyte trafficking. These effects help to explain the transient systemic response to intra-articular glucocorticoids. Suppression of TNF alpha is principally a direct glucocorticoid effect, rather than a consequence of other methylprednisolone induced changes to blood composition. (+info)
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, interleukin-6 and glucocorticoids regulate the release of vascular endothelial growth factor in pituitary folliculostellate cells.
There is increasing evidence that hormones play an important role in the control of endothelial cell function and growth by regulating the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF regulates vascular permeability and represents the most powerful growth factor for endothelial cells. In the normal anterior pituitary, VEGF has been detected only in folliculostellate (FS) cells. In the present study, the regulation of the release of VEGF from FS-like mouse TtT/GF cells, and from FS cells of rat pituitary monolayer cell cultures was investigated using a specific VEGF ELISA. Basal release of VEGF was demonstrated in cultures of both TtT/GF cells and rat pituitary cells. Interestingly, the VEGF secretion was stimulated by both forms of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP-38 and PACAP-27), indicating that this hypothalamic peptide regulates endothelial cell function and growth within the pituitary. VEGF secretion was also stimulated by interleukin-6 (IL-6) whereas basal, IL-6- and PACAP-stimulated secretion was inhibited by the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. The inhibitory action of dexamethasone was reversed by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486, suggesting that in FS cells functional glucocorticoid receptors mediate the inhibitory action of glucocorticoids on the VEGF secretion. The endocrine and auto-/paracrine control of VEGF production in pituitary FS cells by PACAP, IL-6 and glucocorticoids may play an important role both in angiogenesis and vascular permeability regulation within the pituitary under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. (+info)
Gestational regulation of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor receptor expression in the human placenta.
A number of cytokines and their receptors are abundantly expressed at the materno-fetal interface and are thought to have a function in the regulation of placentation. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is expressed by stromal cells in both placental tissue and maternal decidua throughout placentation. In this study, we examined the expression of placental G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR) mRNA and protein throughout gestation by ribonuclease protection assays, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The major placental form of G-CSFR mRNA, corresponding to a membrane-bound form of the protein, was present in first-trimester placental tissues; levels decreased in second- and were highest in third-trimester placental tissues. Two placental G-CSFR molecules, 120 kDa and 150 kDa, were detected in first- and third-, but not second-, trimester tissues. The level of the 150-kDa G-CSFR was greater in the third- than in first-trimester samples. These differences were irrespective of whether or not the patients had received prostaglandin E1 analogues, prostaglandin E1 analogues and oxytocin, oxytocin alone, or mifepristone before labor. We demonstrated by immunohistochemistry that interstitial cytotrophoblast in first- and second-trimester decidual tissue and cytotrophoblast in term fetal membranes express G-CSFR. These data demonstrate that the expression of specific forms of placental G-CSFR is strictly cell type- and developmental stage-specific, and they suggest that G-CSFR may be important in decidual invasion of cytotrophoblast and in trophoblast function during placentation. (+info)
Effects of glucocorticoids on maturation of pig oocytes and their subsequent fertilizing capacity in vitro.
The aim of this study was to assess the possible role of glucocorticoids in the maturation of pig oocytes and their subsequent fertilizing capacity in vitro. Pig cumulus-enclosed oocytes collected from prepubertal gilts were cultured in Waymouth MB752/1 medium supplemented with sodium pyruvate (50 microg/ml), LH (0.5 microg/ml), FSH (0.5 microg/ml), and estradiol-17beta (1 microg/ml) in the presence or absence of cortisol or dexamethasone (DEX) for 24 h; they then were cultured without hormonal supplements in the presence or absence of cortisol or DEX for an additional 16-24 h. Treatment of cumulus-enclosed or denuded oocytes with increasing concentrations of cortisol or DEX for 48 h resulted in a dose-response inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVB). Increasing duration (12-48 h) of treatment with DEX (10 microg/ml) led to a time-dependent inhibition of GVB, which achieved statistical significance by 12 h. The addition of DEX (10 microg/ml) to maturation medium immediately after culture or at 12 h, 24 h, or 36 h after culture also decreased the percentage of oocytes with GVB. When oocytes were exposed to DEX for 48 h, the maturation rate was reduced. The degree of this reduction was dependent on DEX, and a concentration of DEX higher than 0.1 microg/ml was needed. The inhibitory effect of DEX on the maturation of oocytes was prevented by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-486. Exposure of oocytes to DEX for 40 h did not prevent sperm penetration, affect the incidence of polyspermy, or decrease the ability of oocytes to form a male pronucleus. The intracellular concentration of glutathione (GSH) in cumulus-enclosed oocytes was 4.4 mM per oocyte. Exposure of oocytes to DEX (0.01-10 microg/ml) had no effect on GSH concentration. These results demonstrate that glucocorticoids directly inhibit the meiotic but not cytoplasmic maturation of pig oocytes in vitro. This inhibitory effect is not mediated through a decrease in the level of intracellular GSH. (+info)
Once-a-month treatment with a combination of mifepristone and the prostaglandin analogue misoprostol.
In this two centre study, the efficacy of 200 mg mifepristone orally followed 48 h later by 0.4 mg misoprostol orally for menstrual regulation was investigated. The dose of mifepristone was taken the day before the expected day of menstruation. Each volunteer was planned to participate for up to 6 months. A plasma beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) was measured on the day of mifepristone intake. The study was disrupted prematurely due to low efficacy. In 125 treatment cycles the overall pregnancy rate was 17.6% (22 pregnancies) and the rate of continuing pregnancies (failure) was 4.0%. Eight women discontinued the study due to bleeding irregularities which were seen in 15 cycles (12%). These effects on bleeding pattern made the timing of treatment day difficult. Late luteal phase treatment with a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol is not adequately effective for menstrual regulation. (+info)
The negative regulation of the rat aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 gene by glucocorticoids: involvement of a single imperfect palindromic glucocorticoid responsive element.
Glucocorticoids repressed the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-dependent induction of Class 3 aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH3) enzyme activity and mRNA levels in isolated rat hepatocytes by more than 50 to 80%, with a concentration-dependence consistent with the involvement of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). No consistent effect on the low basal transcription rate was observed. This effect of glucocorticoids (GC) on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon induction was effectively antagonized at the mRNA and protein level by the GR antagonist RU38486. The response was cycloheximide-sensitive, because the protein synthesis inhibitor caused a GC-dependent superinduction of ALDH3 mRNA levels. This suggests that the effects of GC on this gene are complex and both positive and negative gene regulation is possible. The GC-response was recapitulated in HepG2 cells using transient transfection experiments with CAT reporter constructs containing 3.5 kb of 5'-flanking region from ALDH3. This ligand-dependent response was also observed when a chimeric GR (GR DNA-binding domain and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ligand-binding domain) was used in place of GR in the presence of the peroxisome proliferator, nafenopin. A putative palindromic glucocorticoid-responsive element exists between -930 and -910 base pairs relative to the transcription start site. If this element was either deleted or mutated, the negative GC-response was completely lost, which suggests that this sequence is responsible, in part, for the negative regulation of the gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis demonstrated that this palindromic glucocorticoid-responsive element is capable of forming a specific DNA-protein complex with human glucocorticoid receptor. In conclusion, the negative regulation of ALDH3 in rat liver is probably mediated through direct GR binding to its canonical responsive element. (+info)
Conformational change in the human glucocorticoid receptor induced by ligand binding is altered by mutation of isoleucine 747 by a threonine.
Limited proteolysis experiments were performed to study conformation changes induced by ligand binding on in vitro produced wild-type and I747T mutant glucocorticoid receptors. Dexamethasone-induced conformational changes were characterized by two resistant proteolysis fragments of 30 and 27 kDa. Although dexamethasone binding affinity was only slightly altered by the I747T substitution (Roux, S., Terouanne, B., Balaguer, P., Loffreda-Jausons, N., Pons, M., Chambon, P., Gronemeyer, H., and Nicolas, J.-C. (1996) Mol. Endocrinol. 10, 1214-1226), higher dexamethasone concentrations were required to obtain the same proteolysis pattern. This difference was less marked when proteolysis experiments were conducted at 0 degrees C, indicating that a step of the conformational change after ligand binding was affected by the mutation. In contrast, RU486 binding to the wild-type receptor induced a different conformational change that was not affected by the mutation. Analysis of proteolysis fragments obtained in the presence of dexamethasone or RU486 indicated that the RU486-induced conformational change affected the C-terminal part of the ligand binding domain differently. These data suggest that the ligand-induced conformational change occurs via a multistep process. In the first step, characterized by compaction of the ligand binding domain, the mutation has no effect. The second step, which stabilizes the activated conformation and does not occur at 4 degrees C, seems to be a key element in the activation process that can be altered by the mutation. This step could involve modification of the helix H12 position, explaining why the conformation induced by RU486 is not affected by the mutation. (+info)