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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 1995 Jul;12(3):223-45.

The ovarian insulin and insulin-like growth factor system with an emphasis on domestic animals.

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Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University Stillwater 74078, USA.


Insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) have direct effects on cultured ovarian cells. These effects include stimulation of granulosa cell mitogenesis, granulosa and luteal cell progesterone production, and thecal cell androgen production and appear similar among species. However, species differences exist with regard to insulin and IGF-I effects on granulosa cell estradiol production. In addition to endocrine effects of insulin and IGFs, IGFs are produced by granulosa, thecal, and luteal cells, allowing for an intraovarian autocrine and paracrine system. Granulosa, thecal, and luteal cells contain receptors for insulin and IGFs, and these receptors appear to mediate the effects of insulin and IGFs. Adding to the complexity of the regulatory role of IGFs is the presence of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) within the ovary. These IGFBPs are produced by granulosa, thecal, and luteal cells, and their production is hormonally regulated. Evidence for a coherent mechanism by which insulin, IGFs, and IGFBPs interact and regulate ovarian function in vivo has yet to be found.

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