Expression of insulin-like growth factor-I and its receptor by SV40-transformed rat granulosa cells

Mol Endocrinol. 1989 Sep;3(9):1488-97. doi: 10.1210/mend-3-9-1488.


Cellular proliferation is a dominant aspect of ovarian follicular development in the rat, and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has been proposed as a mediator of cellular growth and differentiation in the ovary. An SV40-transformed rat granulosa cell line (RGA-41S) has been established as a model for studies on dividing cells of granulosa origin. Granulosa cells from the ovaries of immature diethylstilbestrol-treated rats were infected with the tsA255 mutant of SV40, followed by cloning in serum-free medium to select transformed cell lines which were serum independent. At the permissive temperature (33 C), RGA-41S cells exhibited a transformed phenotype and rapidly formed high density multilayers of compact cells that readily overgrew nontransformed cells. At the nonpermissive temperature (40 C) cell replication declined and division ceased after 4 days. Furthermore, at 40 C the cells grew as a monolayer and assumed a tetrahedral shape with a high cytoplasm-to-nucleus ratio, and displayed reduced ability to overgrow nontransformed cells. The transformed ovarian cells did not express detectable gonadotropin receptors and steroidogenic activity but retained their epithelial phenotype as demonstrated by cytokeratin staining of the cytoskeleton, the presence of microvilli, and the formation of tight junctions between cells. In support of the proposed autocrine-paracrine actions of IGF-I in the ovary, assay of conditioned serum-free culture medium revealed secretion of IGF-I-immunoreactive material by RGA-41S cells. HPLC-purified IGF-I immunoreactivity from these cells eluted with the same retention time as recombinant human IGF-I. When hybridized with a 32P-labeled rat IGF-I cDNA probe, poly(A)+ mRNA prepared from RGA-41S cells grown at both temperatures showed the typical three size classes of IGF-I mRNA on Northern blots (7.5, 1.7, and 0.8-1.2 kilobase kb), although the levels were somewhat higher at 33 C. The presence of IGF-I receptors in transformed cells was demonstrated by specific 125I-IGF-I binding to intact cells. Scatchard analysis indicated a single class of high affinity receptors at a density of 10(5) binding sites per cell and a dissociation constant (Kd) = 0.52 x 10(-9) M. Furthermore, hybridization of a 32P-labeled IGF-I receptor probe to Northern blots of poly(A+) RNA prepared from cells grown at 33 C and 40 C revealed an 11-kilobase rat IGF-I receptor mRNA. Physiological concentrations of IGF-I increased [3H]aminoisobutyric acid uptake by RGA-41S cells grown at either temperature, attesting to the retention of responsiveness to IGF-I in these transformed granulosa cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Aminobutyrates / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Female
  • Granulosa Cells / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / biosynthesis*
  • Keratins
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / analysis*
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics*
  • Somatomedins / biosynthesis*
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Aminobutyrates
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Somatomedins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Keratins
  • alpha-aminobutyric acid