Expression of endothelin-1 gene and protein in human granulosa cells

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 Apr;81(4):1428-33. doi: 10.1210/jcem.81.4.8636346.


Previous studies in animal models indicated an autocrine/paracrine action of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in the ovary. We now report evidence on the presence of ET-1 in human ovary during reproductive life. Immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization studies demonstrated a positive signal into cytoplasm of granulosa cells (GC) of follicles at different growth stages. The concentration of ET-1-like immunoreactivity (ET-1-LI) was also measured by a specific RIA in human follicular fluid (FF). FF samples were obtained from women in an in vitro fertilization program undergoing gonadotropin stimulation (group A; n = 24) or no treatment (group B; n = 7). The mean (+/-SD) ET-1-LI FF level in group A (4.85 +/- 2.06 pg/mL) was significantly higher than that in group B (1.29 +/- 0.43 pg/mL; P < 0.01), whereas the corresponding mean plasma levels were not significantly different and were not correlated to respective FF values. Our results indicate for the first time the presence of ET-1 and its messenger ribonucleic acid in the GC of the human ovary. The higher ET-1-LI levels found in the FF from women undergoing gonadotropin treatment suggest a modulation by gonadotropins and/or ovarian steroids of ET-1 production by GC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Endothelins / analysis
  • Endothelins / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Follicular Fluid / chemistry
  • Granulosa Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Infertility, Female / metabolism
  • Menotropins / therapeutic use
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Endothelins
  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Menotropins
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone