Follicular fluid modulation of functional LH receptor induction in pig granulosa cells.


Follicular fluid was collected from small (1-2 mm), medium (3-5 mm) and large (6-12 mm) follicles of pigs, treated with charcoal to remove steroids, and tested for effects on the induction of functional LH/hCG receptors in cultures of granulosa cells from small antral pig follicles. Granulosa cells were cultured for 2, 4 or 6 days in Medium 199 + 10% pig serum. Granulosa cells cultured in the presence of purified human FSH (0.1 microgram/ml, LER 8/117), insulin (1 mU/ml), cortisol (0.01 microgram/ml) and thyroxine (10(-7) M) accumulated a 4- to 8-fold increase in LH/hCG receptors compared to control cultures. The amounts of cyclic AMP and progesterone secreted after exposure to ovine LH (1 microgram/ml: NIH-S19) were also increased 2-3-fold and 80-100-fold, respectively. Exposure to FSH alone resulted in lower amounts of LH/hCG receptors with a concomitant decrease in optimum LH responses. Addition of 12.5-50% follicular fluid obtained from small (1-2 mm) follicles led to a dose-dependent inhibition of the FSH plus insulin, cortisol and thyroxine induction of LH/hCG receptors after 4 days of culture. Fluid from medium follicles showed reduced ability to inhibit LH/hCG receptor induction, and fluid from large follicles exerted only a slight inhibition or no inhibition of receptor induction. Fluid from medium-sized and large follicles exerted a progressive dose-dependent stimulation of progesterone secretion by the granulosa cell cultures. The inhibitory activity was precipitated primarily with 70% ethanol and to a lesser degree by 36 and 90% ethanol. These studies demonstrate that induction of functional LH/hCG receptors in cultures of pig granulosa cells from immature follicles is enhanced by including insulin, cortisol and thyroxine, in addition to FSH, in the culture medium, and that follicular fluid modulates both receptor induction and progesterone secretion as a function of follicular maturation.