Selective modulation of follicle-stimulating hormone signaling pathways with enhancing equine chorionic gonadotropin/antibody immune complexes

Endocrinology. 2010 Jun;151(6):2788-99. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-0892. Epub 2010 Mar 23.


The injection of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) in dairy goats induces the production of anti-eCG antibodies (Abs) in some females. We have previously shown that Abs negatively modulate the LH and FSH-like bioactivities of eCG, in most cases, compromising fertility in treated females. Surprisingly, we found out that some anti-eCG Abs improved fertility and prolificity of the treated females, in vivo. These Abs, when complexed with eCG, enhanced LH and FSH ability to induce steroidogenesis on specific target cells, in vitro. In the present study, we analyzed the impact of three eCG/anti-eCG Ab-enhancing complexes on two transduction mechanisms triggered by the FSH receptor: guanine nucleotide-binding protein alphaS-subunit/cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) and beta-arrestin-dependent pathways, respectively. In all cases, significant enhancing effects were observed on ERK phosphorylation compared with eCG alone. However, cAMP production and PKA activation induced by eCG could be differently modulated by Abs. By using a pharmacological inhibitor of PKA and small interfering RNA-mediated knock-down of endogenous beta-arrestin 1 and 2, we demonstrated that signaling bias was induced and was clearly dependent on the complexed Ab. Together, our data show that eCG/anti-eCG Ab-enhancing complexes can differentially modulate cAMP/PKA and beta-arrestin pathways as a function of the complexed Ab. We hypothesize that enhancing Abs may change the eCG conformation, the immune complex acquiring new "biased" pharmacological properties ultimately leading to the physiological effects observed in vivo. The modulation of ligand pharmacological properties by Abs opens promising research avenues towards the optimization of glycoprotein hormone biological activities and, more generally, the development of new therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / pharmacology*
  • Arrestins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / immunology*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / metabolism*
  • Gonadotropins, Equine / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology
  • beta-Arrestin 1
  • beta-Arrestins


  • ARRB1 protein, human
  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Arrestins
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Gonadotropins, Equine
  • Isoquinolines
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Sulfonamides
  • beta-Arrestin 1
  • beta-Arrestins
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • N-(2-(4-bromocinnamylamino)ethyl)-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide