While prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) has been thought to be a natural luteolysin in non-primates, a luteolytic effect in the human corpus luteum is less evident. We therefore investigated the action of PGF2α on monolayer cultures of human luteal cells obtained from mid-luteal phase corpora lutea.
PGF2α increased basal and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)-stimulated progesterone production by human cultured luteal cells. A potent tumour-promoting phorbol ester, phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), also stimulated progesterone production by cultured human luteal cells.
Although human luteal cells were incubated for 24 h with PMA, hCG was still able to stimulate the production of progesterone by PMA-pretreated cells. However, PMA pretreatment blocked the ability of PGF2α to stimulate progesterone production. It is possible that the luteotrophic effect of PGF2α may be mediated, in part, by the activation of protein kinase C.
Addition of PGF2α to suspensions of human luteal cells preincubated with myo-[2-3H]inositol promoted an increase in labelled inositol phosphates. PGF2α also rapidly increased intracellular free Ca2+ in human luteal cells loaded with the fluorescent Ca2+ probe, fura-2.
We conclude that PGF2α and PMA stimulate progesterone production and that PGF2α increases the intracellular free calcium and inositol phosphates of human cultured luteal cells in the mid-luteal phase.
Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 133, 451–458