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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Nov;75(5):1235-41.

Steroid and peptide regulation of insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins secreted by human endometrial stromal cells is dependent on stromal differentiation.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305.


Endometrial stromal cells undergo decidual transformation, in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) and progesterone. Since insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) are believed to be involved in endometrial differentiation, and insulin regulates IGFBP production in a variety of cells, we have investigated the modulatory roles of EGF, progesterone, and insulin on IGFBP secretion by long term cultures of human endometrial stromal cells. Without insulin, the principal IGFBP secreted into conditioned medium, detected by Western ligand blotting, was a 28-kilodalton (kDa) IGFBP, identified by immunoprecipitation as IGFBP-1. This was observed only when the stromal cells were decidualized. With increasing insulin, IGFBP-1 decreased to undetectable levels. Concomitantly, IGFBP-2 increased, as did a 24-kDa IGFBP (believed to be IGFBP-4) and a 28-kDa IGFBP, shown to be a glycoprotein by endoglycosidase sensitivity (and believed to be glycosylated IGFBP-4). In the nondecidualized state, insulin increased the secretion of IGFBP-3, IGFBP-2, and the 24-kDa IGFBP, which were slightly inhibited by EGF and relatively unaffected by progesterone alone. In the absence of insulin, progesterone weakly stimulated IGFBP-1 secretion, which increased markedly when the cells were decidualized by combined treatment with EGF and progesterone. These data show that IGFBP-3, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-1, and presumably IGFBP-4 and its glycosylated form are differentially regulated by peptide and steroid hormones in endometrial stromal cells and that their regulation is a function of stromal differentiation.

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