Yonsei Med J.  2001 Apr;42(2):233-241. 10.3349/ymj.2001.42.2.233.

Regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor mRNA expression in cultured rat granulosa cells

  • 1Endocrine Laboratory, Medical Research Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kzryu122@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr


The homologous regulation of pituitary Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Receptor (GnRH-R) mRNA expression by GnRH has been well demonstrated. However, the regulation of the ovarian GnRH-R is poorly understood. The present study was performed to demonstrate the presence of GnRH transcripts in addition to GnRH-R mRNA and the regulation of GnRH-R mRNA expression in the granulosa cells isolated from small antral follicles. The GnRH and GnRH-R mRNA levels were determined by a competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The granulosa cells were obtained from immature rats implanted with diethylstilbestrol for 3 days. When GnRH transcript expression was examined in isolated granulosa cells by RT-PCR, the PCR products showed two bands. The larger band contained intronic sequences and the smaller band was a fully processed GnRH gene transcript identical to hypothalamic GnRH. This suggests that authentic GnRH gene transcripts are expressed in ovarian granulosa cells and may act on the granulosa cells in a paracrine or autocrine manner. Since GnRH action in the granulosa cells is mediated by specific GnRH-R, it is of interest to examine whether GnRH-R is synthesized in the granulosa cells. When the granulosa cells were cultured in media only, GnRH-R mRNA levels increased abruptly within 3 h and gradually decreased thereafter during the 24 h culture period. However, GnRH itself did not alter the GnRH-R mRNA expression levels in cultured granulosa cells. Interestingly, treatment with FSH decreased the GnRH-R mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner. A time-course analysis revealed that the GnRH-R mRNA levels were significantly lower up to 9 h after FSH treatment, and returned to the basal level between 12 h-24 h. Activation of adenylate cyclase with forskolin also decreased the GnRH-R mRNA levels. It is therefore concluded that in the granulosa cells of the small antral follicles GnRH-R mRNA expression was not homologously regulated by GnRH, while FSH may negatively regulate GnRH-R mRNA expression in the granulosa cells possibly through a cAMP-protein kinase A pathway.


GnRH receptor mRNA; granulosa cell; comprtitive RT-PCR
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