It is a common clinical observation that stress is accompanied by dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, and there is mounting experimental evidence that CRH, the principal regulator of ACTH release and the central coordinator of the stress response, is able to suppress gonadal function by inhibiting hypothalamic GnRH release. Recently, it has been shown that immunoreactive CRH, CRH messenger RNA, and CRH receptors are also present in the ovary. This prompted us to examine the role of CRH on ovarian function. To accomplish this, we studied the effects of this neuropeptide on estrogen production and cAMP intracellular content from rat granulosa and human granulosa-luteal cells. We also evaluated the activity of the enzyme aromatase by measuring the production of tritiated water from homogenates of cultured rat granulosa cells. CRH inhibited FSH-stimulated estrogen production from rat granulosa cells in a dose-dependent fashion. The maximal effect was achieved at a concentration of 10(-8) M, which suppressed estrogen production by about 30%. Low concentrations of CRH (10(-10) M), incapable of modulating maximal estrogen production in response to FSH, provoked a right-ward shift of the estrogen dose-response curve to FSH. CRH (10(-8) M) suppressed the production of tritiated water (equivalent to estrogen production) from homogenates of rat granulosa cells incubated with a half-maximal concentration of FSH. Basal estrogen production by human granulosa-luteal cells was also inhibited by CRH at a concentration of 10(-10) M. The maximal effect was achieved with a concentration of 10(-8) M, which lowered estrogen production by 25%. The CRH receptor antagonist alpha-helical CRH-(9-41) antagonized the inhibitory effect of CRH on estrogen production from rat granulosa and human granulosa-luteal cells, whereas alone it had no effect. CRH did not have any effect on the intracellular cAMP content of rat granulosa and human granulosa-luteal cells. In conclusion, these results suggest that CRH is able to suppress estrogen production from rat and human granulosa cells in vitro. This effect seems to be linked to inhibition of aromatase activity in the rat and is independent of cAMP generation. We speculate that CRH may also interfere with hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function by acting directly at the ovarian level.
|Titolo:||Effects of corticotropin-releasing hormone on ovarian steroidogenesis production in vitro|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1996|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|