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Endocr J. 2017 Aug 30;64(8):777-785. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.EJ17-0097. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Progesterone dose-dependently modulates hepatocyte growth factor production in 3T3-L1 mouse preadipocytes.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.


It is well documented that estrogen is predominant inducer of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in a variety of cell types. However, the effect of progesterone (P) remains to be elusive. Thus, in the present study, we examined the effect of P and combined effect of P and 17β-estradiol (E2) on HGF expression and production in 3T3-L1 fibroblastic preadipocytes and mature adipocytes, as a model of stromal cells. Northern blot analysis showed that hgf mRNA expressed in preadipocytes was notably higher than that of mature adipocytes, and increased by treatment of preadipocytes with E2 or 10 nM P, but not with 1,000 nM P. The E2-induced hgf mRNA expression was enhanced by 10 nM P, but suppressed by 1,000 nM P. Western blot analysis revealed that biological active forms of HGF protein was found in the preadipocyte culture medium, while the lesser amount of HGF precursor protein was detected in the mature adipocyte culture medium. The amounts of HGF were changed dependently on the hgf mRNA expression levels. These results indicate that HGF production is intricately regulated by E2 and P at the transcriptional levels in 3T3-L1 cells, and may explain the changes in the HGF production during the mammary gland development, especially decrease in HGF expression during pregnancy when P concentration is high.


Adipocyte; Estrogen; HGF; Mammary gland; Progestrerone

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