Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Hum Reprod. 2007 Aug;13(8):595-604. Epub 2007 May 24.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin attenuates NF-kappaB activation and cytokine expression of endometriotic stromal cells.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Vienna, AKH, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Recently, a clinical study provided evidence that treatment of endometriotic women with human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) alleviates disease-related pain and sleeplessness suggesting therapeutic effects of the hormone. Since endometriosis is associated with aberrant concentrations of inflammatory mediators in the peritoneal fluid, we investigated whether hCG may affect cytokine-dependent activation of the key-regulatory transcription factor NF-kappaB and expression of two nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB)-inducible genes, tumour necrosing factor (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta, in stromal cells isolated from ectopic endometriotic tissues. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that treatment of these cultures with the urinary preparation hCG-A suppressed TNF-alpha- or IL-1beta-induced NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity, whereas another urinary hCG preparation (hCG-B) was less effective. Recombinant alphahCG or epidermal growth factor (EGF), a contaminant of some urinary hCG preparations, did not alter cytokine-dependent NF-kappaB activation. Immunofluorescene of its p65 subunit revealed that pre-incubation with hCG-A strongly decreased TNF-alpha-dependent nuclear expression of NF-kappaB. Accordingly, hCG-A diminished IL-1beta-induced TNF-alpha transcript levels and protein release measured by quantitative real-time PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The hormone also attenuated TNF-alpha-dependent mRNA expression of IL-1beta. Western blot analyses revealed that hCG-A impaired TNF-alpha-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of the inhibitor IkappaBalpha suggesting that the hormone may reduce nuclear import of NF-kappaB by stabilizing its inhibitor. The data suggest that hCG attenuates inflammation-dependent NF-kappaB activation and cytokine expression that could provide one explanation for the beneficial role of the hormone in endometriotic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center