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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The role of thyroid hormone as a biological amplifier of the actions of follicle-stimulating hormone in the functional differentiation of cultured porcine granulosa cells.

To characterize thyroid hormone action on the ovary, the direct effects of T4 or T3 were investigated in vitro using a monolayer culture system of porcine granulosa cells. Monolayer cultures were maintained for 6 days in 4% serum-supplemented medium in the absence or presence of porcine FSH (20 ng/ml), with or without graded doses of T4 or T3. Combined treatment with FSH and T4 (10(-7) M) induced morphological alternation resembling epithelioid cells, while FSH alone or T4 alone failed to bring about the epithelioid morphology. Concomitant treatment with FSH and T4 (10(-7) M) markedly increased FSH-stimulated induction of [125I]iodo-human CG binding to cultured granulosa cells obtained from small follicles. The combined treatment with FSH and T4 (10(-7) M) also resulted in a significant increase in progesterone and estrogen secretion by the cultured cells relative to treatment with FSH alone. Increases in progesterone, 17 beta-estradiol, and estrone secretion caused by the combined treatment with FSH and T4 (10(-7) M) were further augmented in response to the addition of exogenously provided substrate pregnenolone, testosterone, and androstenedione, respectively. Furthermore, aromatase activity assessed by the release of [3H]water from [1 beta-3H, 4-14C]androstenedione was significantly higher in cells treated concomitantly with FSH and T4 (10(-7) M) than that in cells treated with FSH alone. All the stimulatory effects of T4 (10(-7) M) on the morphological and functional differentiation of cultured granulosa cells were also found in combined treatment with FSH and T3 (10(-9) M). Either treatment with higher or lower concentrations of T4 or T3 gave attenuated effects, and T4 or T3 alone without FSH was incapable of exhibiting these stimulatory effects. These findings suggest that thyroid hormones synergize with FSH to exert direct stimulatory effects on granulosa cell functions, including morphological differentiation, LH/human CG receptor formation and steroidogenic enzyme (3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and aromatase) induction. Hence, decreases in ovarian functions during the states of hypo- or hyperthyroidism may account for diminished responsiveness of the granulosa cells to FSH.[1]


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