Effect of prolactin on the expression of luteinizing hormone receptors during cell differentiation in cultured rat granulosa cells.

Research paper by T T Hirakawa, T T Minegishi, M M Tano, T T Kameda, H H Kishi, Y Y Ibuki, T T Mizutani, K K Miyamoto

Indexed on: 05 Aug '99Published on: 05 Aug '99Published in: Endocrinology


Chronic and transient hyperprolactinemia has been associated with luteal phase dysfunction. Recently, evidence has emerged to suggest that elevated PRL may exert its antigonadal effects through reducing available ovarian LH receptors. We have now examined the influences of PRL on LH receptor induction in cultured granulosa cells. Basal specific LH binding was negligible and remained unchanged in response to treatment with PRL by itself. Whereas treatment with FSH produced, as expected, a substantial increase in specific LH binding, concurrent treatment with PRL resulted in no significant change during the first 4 days of culture, followed by a significant decrease in LH binding on days 5 and 6 as well as an approximately 50% inhibition of FSH effect on day 6. Scatchard plot analysis showed that concurrent treatment with PRL resulted in inhibition of the granulosa cell LH binding capacity, whereas no difference could be detected in the binding affinity of LH to its receptor. Treatment with 8-bromo-cAMP produced a significant increase in specific LH binding; concurrent treatment with PRL (30 ng/ml) produced a significant attenuation of 8-bromo-cAMP action. In addition, treatment with FSH increased the intracellular accumulation of cAMP, and concurrent treatment with PRL did not result in inhibition of the FSH action, as assessed by the generation of intracellular cAMP. Taken together, these findings suggest that the ability of PRL to interfere with FSH action with regard to the induction of LH receptors is exerted at sites distal to those involved in cAMP generation. The effect of PRL on LH receptor messenger RNA (mRNA) levels was not significant during the increase in receptors, whereas after the maximal level of receptor expression was reached, the effect of PRL was apparent. Cotreatment with FSH (30 ng/ml) and increasing doses of PRL inhibited the levels of FSH-induced LH receptor mRNA in a dose-dependent manner, whereas PRL did not inhibit the effect of FSH on the FSH receptor mRNA. To investigate the hormonal regulation of the 5'-flanking region, we analyzed the effect of FSH on 1379 bp of LH receptor promoter in rat granulosa cells. Treatment with FSH (1-100 ng/ml) significantly enhanced the activity of 1379 bp of the LH receptor 5'-flanking region in dose-dependent manner. Treatment with 30 ng/ml PRL alone did not significantly influence the activity of the LH receptor promoter and did not affect the increased promoter activity induced by FSH. In addition, the rates of LH receptor mRNA gene transcription assessed by nuclear run-on transcription assay increased by the addition of FSH and were not affected by the addition of PRL in the presence of FSH. These data showed that PRL might not effect LH receptor gene transcription in the regulation of LH receptor mRNA. Next, an attempt was made to determine the effect of PRL on LH receptor mRNA stability by measuring the decay of LH receptor mRNA under conditions known to inhibit transcription. However, inhibitors of transcription were found to have a stabilizing effect on the LH receptor mRNA, thus potentially masking the effect of PRL. According to the expression of LH receptor mRNA, PRL might not affect the maximum level induced by FSH, but thereafter the maximum levels of LH receptor mRNA decreased faster than those of the control. Therefore, it may be possible that PRL acts to stimulate labile LH receptor mRNA-destabilizing factors.