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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2002 Jun 28;192(1-2):37-43.

Insulin but not insulin-like growth factor-1 promotes the primordial to primary follicle transition.

Author information

1
Center for Reproductive Biology, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4231, USA.

Abstract

A critical step in ovarian biology is the transition of the developmentally arrested primordial follicle to the growing primary follicle. The current study utilizes a rat ovarian organ culture system to investigate the role of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in this process. Four-day-old rat ovaries were cultured and the degree of primordial to primary follicle transition measured. Insulin increased the primordial to primary follicle transition 30% over control with a half maximal effective concentration (EC50) between 2.5 and 5 ng/ml. IGF-1 did not cause an increase in the primordial to primary follicle transition at concentrations up to 100 ng/ml. Ovaries were also treated with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and neither had an effect on the primordial to primary follicle transition. Ovaries were treated with insulin in conjunction with other factors known to promote the primordial to primary follicle transition in order to discern any potential synergistic effects. Previous experiments have shown that kit ligand (KL), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) promote the primordial to primary follicle transition. Insulin was shown to have an additive effect with KL and LIF, but not bFGF. The fact that insulin can influence the primordial to primary follicle transition at low concentrations (i.e. 5 ng/ml) and that IGF-1 has no effect suggests that insulin is acting at the insulin receptor, not the IGF-1 receptor. The observation that insulin has an additive effect with KL and LIF, but not bFGF, suggests the insulin's site of action is likely the oocyte. In summary, observations suggest that insulin acts as an endocrine type factor to help coordinate primordial to primary follicle transition at the level of the oocyte. The significance of the observations in relation to diabetes and female infertility is discussed.

PMID:
12088865
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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