Steroidogenesis in luteinized granulosa cell cultures varies with follicular priming regimen
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During follicular development, a co-ordinated gonadotrophin and endocrine environment is believed to be essential for normal function of the resulting corpus luteum. Whether differences in the gonadotrophins used to promote follicular development can have lasting effects on granulosa cells after they have undergone luteinization and culture, remains to be studied. We measured steroid production under basal and human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) stimulation in short and long term cultures of luteinizing granulosa cells obtained from normal ovulatory women undergoing assisted folliculogenesis with either human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) or follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Basal progesterone and oestradiol production by luteinized granulosa cells obtained from follicles stimulated to develop with FSH was significantly greater than that from HMG derived follicles (P < 0.001). In short term cultures, treatment with 10 IU HCG caused a 10-fold increase in progesterone release by cells from FSH stimulated follicles, whereas cells of HMG origin produced only 5-fold more progesterone (P < 0.0001). In cultures that were maintained for 2 weeks, progesterone secretion was reduced, but a similar trend in HCG responsiveness was observed. These experiments demonstrate that the composition of the gonadotrophins used to promote follicular development in vivo leads to differences in granulosa cell steroidogenesis which are evident after luteinization and culture. They additionally support the notion that the environment of follicular development will be reflected in the resulting corpus luteum.
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