Differential regulation of progesterone and estradiol production by mouse cumulus and mural granulosa cells by A factor(s) secreted by the oocyte

Biol Reprod. 1995 Dec;53(6):1243-50. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod53.6.1243.


Mouse oocytes secrete a factor(s) that inhibits progesterone and enhances estradiol production by cumulus granulosa cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms by which the production of these steroids is modulated. Mouse oocyte-cumulus cell complexes (intact) and complexes from which the oocytes were removed microsurgically (oocytectomized; OOX) were cultured for up to 48 h in the presence of FSH (150 ng/ml) and testosterone (5 x 10(-7) M). For these experiments, all cells were obtained from antral follicles of 24- to 26-day-old mice primed with eCG. Intact complexes produced primarily estradiol, with significant accumulation occurring between 24 and 48 h. In contrast, OOX complexes produced little estradiol but, starting at 18 h of culture, released significantly more progesterone than did intact complexes. Progesterone accumulation in cocultures of denuded oocytes with either OOX complexes or monolayers of mural granulosa cells was significantly reduced compared to that with OOX complexes or mural granulosa cells cultured alone. If dibutyryl cAMP replaced FSH in the cocultures, similar results were obtained, suggesting that the oocyte-secreted steroid-regulating factor acts downstream of the generation of cAMP to inhibit progesterone production. Since estradiol can inhibit progesterone production by granulosa cells, we investigated the possibility that the increased progesterone released by OOX complexes was secondary to the lower estradiol production. Intact complexes cultured in the presence of the nonaromatizable androgen, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, or steroidal (4-hydroxyandrostenedione) or non-steroidal (CGS 16949A) aromatase inhibitors produced little estradiol; however, progesterone production by these complexes was no different from that of estradiol-producing intact complexes. These results suggest that the steroid-regulating factor(s) secreted by occytes acts to regulate granulosa cell production of estradiol and progesterone by independent mechanisms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology
  • Estradiol / biosynthesis*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / pharmacology
  • Granulosa Cells / drug effects*
  • Granulosa Cells / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Progesterone / biosynthesis*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Bucladesine
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Cyclic AMP