Estrogen receptors are present in human granulosa cells.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Recent studies failed to detect estrogen receptors in primate follicles. This study was initiated to determine whether estrogen receptor (ER) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is present in human granulosa cells and, further, if functional ER proteins are present. To evaluate the presence of ER, RNA from human granulosa cells obtained at the time of oocyte retrieval for assisted reproduction was extracted, and complementary DNA synthesis was performed by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify basepairs 570-852 in the B- and C- domains of the ER mRNA. Southern blotting was performed and confirmed that the amplified DNA fragment identified in granulosa cells represented ER. By reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, mRNA for the ER is clearly identified in primary human granulosa cells obtained at the time of oocyte retrieval. To expand these studies and determine whether functional ER were present in human granulosa cells in culture, a simian virus-40-transformed human granulosa cell line was studied. Cells were transfected with a plasmid containing as estrogen response element up-stream from the bacterial reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT). In transfected cells, CAT activity is inducible by estradiol if endogenous functional ER are present. In these studies, the transfection analysis confirmed that functional, transcriptionally competent ER are present in a human granulosa cell line, with a 4- to 5-fold enhancement of CAT activity demonstrated after the addition of estradiol compared to that in nonhormone-treated cells. In conclusion, ER mRNA is present in human granulosa cells. Functional ER are also demonstrated in a transformed human granulosa cell line. We hypothesize that low, but biologically significant, amounts of ER protein are present in human granulosa cells, which are not routinely detectable by standard assays.
Blotting, Southern, Cell Line, Transformed, Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase, Estradiol, Female, Granulosa Cells, Humans, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, Estrogen, Transcription, Genetic, Transfection
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