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Ovarian actions of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha): pleiotropic effects of TNF alpha on differentiated functions of untransformed swine granulosa cells.

  • Veldhuis, J D
  • Garmey, J C
  • Urban, R J
  • Demers, L M
  • Aggarwal, B B
Published Article
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1991
PMID: 1649742


We have examined interactions between tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), a product of the immune system, and ovarian cells using serum-free monolayer cultures of untransformed swine granulosa cells. Recombinant human TNF alpha, a potent cytoactive product of activated macrophages, bound specifically and with high affinity to intact granulosa cells. Binding sites had an apparent Kd of 0.17 nM (95% confidence interval, 0.065-0.31), and a binding capacity of 80 nmol/micrograms DNA (95% confidence interval, 52-110). The binding capacity of granulosa cells for TNF alpha (but not the binding affinity) was increased approximately 2-fold by treatment with FSH and insulin. The biological effects of TNF alpha on pig granulosa cells were expressed after 48 and 96 h in culture. At the latter time, TNF alpha significantly suppressed insulin- and insulin- plus FSH-stimulated progesterone accumulation, with respective ID50 values of 0.08 +/- 0.008 and 0.06 +/- 0.014 nM, but did not affect basal progesterone accumulation or DNA content. TNF alpha also significantly attenuated the stimulatory effect of combined treatment with FSH and insulin on cAMP generation during 48-96 h of culture. TNF alpha inhibited the stimulatory effects of forskolin, cholera toxin, and the cAMP analog 8-bromo-cAMP on progesterone accumulation, indicating multiple sites of action of this immune modulator. Inhibition of progestin biosynthesis was observed even in the presence of 25-hydroxycholesterol, a soluble oxygenated sterol substrate for the cholesterol side-chain cleavage reaction, and was accompanied by decreased concentrations of specific cellular mRNA encoding cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme. There were no changes in the amounts of a constitutively expressed enzyme, phosphoglyceraldehyde dehydrogenase. Inhibitory actions of TNF alpha were specific to de novo steroid hormone biosynthesis, since nanomolar concentrations of this cytokine stimulated accumulation of prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2 alpha basally and during treatment with FSH, cholera toxin, or 8-bromo-cAMP. In contrast, prostaglandin accumulation was not enhanced by interferon-gamma or interleukin-2. In summary, untransformed porcine granulosa cells exhibit specific, high affinity, low capacity saturable binding sites for TNF alpha, and the number of such binding sites can be regulated by combined treatment with insulin and FSH. Granulosa cells are susceptible to the inhibitory actions of TNF alpha on FSH- and insulin-supported progesterone biosynthesis and cAMP accumulation. One important locus of TNF alpha action is blockade of hormonally stimulated increases in specific mRNA encoding the cholesterol side-chain cleavage cytochrome P450 enzyme.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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