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LESLIE MYATT, M. G. ELDER and LOUIS LIM

The binding characteristics, content and intracellular distribution of cytosolic and nuclear progesterone receptors have been investigated, using [3H]progesterone as ligand, in the rat uterus bearing a unilateral intra-uterine device (IUD) during the oestrous cycle and from days 3 to 6 of pregnancy. The dissociation constants of nuclear and cytosolic progesterone–receptor complexes for IUD-containing and control uterine horns were similar. Cytosolic receptor concentrations in the IUD-containing uterus were always lower but changed in a manner similar to the control during the periods studied. Nuclear receptor concentrations in the control horn reflected changes in hormone levels during the oestrous cycle although concentrations measured were greater than previously reported. However, in IUD-containing uteri the pattern was completely reversed with minimal levels at pro-oestrus. Nuclear receptor concentrations were little different in both horns during early pregnancy. Total progesterone receptor synthesis determined between metoestrus and pro-oestrus in IUD-containing horns was significantly less than that of control horns. This correlated with the attenuated rise of nuclear oestrogen receptor levels previously observed between these times in IUD-containing uterine horns.

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G. B. Kudolo, M. G. Elder and L. Myatt

ABSTRACT

The dissociation constants (K d) and steroid specificities of oestrogen-binding species in rat granulosa cell cytosol and nuclei have been studied. Preliminary work, where diethylstilboestrol was employed as competitor in binding assays, identified the oestrogen receptor in whole ovarian tissue nuclei (K d 0·35 ±0.09 nmol/l) and cytosol (K d 0·39 ± 0·03 nmol/l). Isolation of granulosa cells revealed that the majority of this receptor (75–96%) was present in these cells. Specificity studies on the binding of [3H]oestradiol in granulosa cell cytosol indicated the presence of an additional class of oestrogen-binding sites which were, however, not present in nuclei. Saturation analysis over an extended range of [3H]oestradiol concentrations and using unlabelled oestradiol as competitor revealed a binding species of K d 45·8± 6·9 nmol/l (capacity 16·7 pmol/mg cytosol protein) for oestradiol in addition to the cytosol oestrogen receptor of K d 0·58 ± nmol/l (capacity 2·8 pmol/mg cytosol protein). The low affinity of this novel species implies that the dextran-coated charcoal techniques used in previous studies on ovarian oestrogen-binding species would cause dissociation of ligand and not allow it to be measured.

The second oestrogen-binding species displayed affinity for oestradiol-17β, oestriol, oestrone, testosterone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone, methyltrienolone, progesterone and the antioestrogens tamoxifen, nafoxidine and clomiphene citrate. The species, however, did not bind diethylstilboestrol, a characteristic shared with other low affinity cytosol oestrogen-binding species which have been reported in dog prostate, chick oviduct and male rat liver but not shared with uterine type II oestrogen receptors. It can be further distinguished from the oestrogen receptor by differential ammonium sulphate precipitation and the stability of its ligand binding at temperatures above 55 °C where the oestrogen receptor–ligand interaction is rapidly lost.

Concentrations of nuclear oestrogen receptor in granulosa cells (2200 sites/cell) were similar to those found in other target tissues but a high proportion of this receptor (70%) was 'unoccupied' or available for binding at 4 °C and the majority (75%) was resistant to extraction with 0·4 m-KCl. As the second oestrogen-binding species could not be detected in granulosa cell nuclei it is unlikely to be involved directly in eliciting genomic responses to hormonal stimulation. It is more probable that it regulates the level of the free intracellular steroid to which the oestrogen receptor of the granulosa cell (the predominant site of oestrogen biosynthesis) is exposed.

J. Endocr. (1984) 102, 83–91

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G. B. Kudolo, M. G. Elder and L. Myatt

ABSTRACT

Rat granulosa cell cytosol contains a second oestrogen-binding species (SOB) distinguished from the classical oestrogen receptor by its lower dissociation constant (approx. 45 nmol/l) and the ability to bind oestrogens, antioestrogens, androgens and progesterone but not diethylstilboestrol. The SOB and the oestrogen receptor can be further distinguished by their differential adsorption to spheroidal hydroxylapatite and Concanavalin A–Sepharose. Addition of chaotropic salts or molybdate to granulosa cell cytosol did not alter the concentration of SOB or oestrogen receptor measured, indicating that there are no 'masked' binding sites in the two species caused by aggregation phenomena. The association rate of oestradiol with SOB at 4°C (1·72 ± 0·27(s.e.m.) × 108 mol/h) and 25°C (4·50 ± 0·36 × 108 mol/h) was faster than with the oestrogen receptor (7·20 ± 0·15 × 107 mol/h and 1·23 ± 0·15 × 108 mol/h respectively). The biphasic dissociation kinetics of [3H]oestradiol from the oestrogen receptor at 25°C (rate constants k −1 = 0·30±0·07/min and k −2 = 3·73±0·57 × 10−3/min) were similar to those reported in other target tissues but the dissociation of [3H]oestradiol from SOB appeared to be much more rapid and could not be measured by the Sephadex LH-20 separation method employed for determining receptor kinetics. Using sucrose density-gradient (SDG) analysis and Sephacryl S-200 gel chromatography the oestrogen receptor fractionated in an aggregated form (10·3S, Stokes radius >5·2 nm) in low ionic strength buffers and as a small species (4·4S, Stokes radius 3·5 nm) in buffers containing 0·4 m-KCl. However, the SOB fractionated as 2–3S, Stokes radius 3·7–4·0 nm at low ionic strength and as 5·8S, Stokes radius 3·5 nm in 0·4 m-KCl. In contrast to the receptor from other target tissues the granulosa cell oestrogen receptor did not bind to the artificial acceptor matrix oligo(dT)-cellulose and heat activation did not promote a 4S to 5S conversion when analysed on SDG. The salt-extracted form of nuclear receptor sedimented at 4·6S, mol. wt 69–72 000 on SDG.

J. Endocr. (1984) 102, 93–102

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G. B. Kudolo, M. G. Elder and L. Myatt

ABSTRACT

Numbers of granulosa cells obtained from follicles of immature rats increased from 1·6 × 105 cells/ovary on day 8 to 7·1 × 106 cells/ovary on day 40 of age, the day of vaginal opening and first pro-oestrus. Very high levels of cytosol oestrogen receptor were found on day 8 (175 000 sites/cell) but by day 19 20 000 sites/cell were found. Nuclear receptor concentrations were highest on day 12(5400 ± 1470 (s.d.) sites/cell) and again on day 21 (5400 ± 2300 sites/cell). After day 21 both cytosol and nuclear oestrogen receptor concentrations fell and remained low until nuclear concentrations rose at day 40. Two consecutive daily injections of FSH/LH (5 i.u.) increased cell number over control in animals killed on day 22, gave no significant alteration in animals killed on day 26 or 28 but decreased numbers in animals aged 32 and 35 days. Only on day 22 was the increase in cell number associated with an increase in nuclear oestrogen receptor concentrations. Indeed on days 32 and 35 increased nuclear receptor concentrations were associated with a decreased cell number.

J. Endocr. (1987) 112, 333–338

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L B Lonsdale, M G Elder and M H F Sullivan

Abstract

Previous work has shown that enzymatic digestion of human placental tissue can induce the production of the cytokine interleukin-1β. Most studies of the feto-maternal interface of human pregnancy have used decidual cells prepared in a similar way, but the effects of tissue dissociation on the production of growth factors, cytokines, prostaglandins or hormones have not been investigated. Our studies show human decidual explants produce substantially lower levels of a range of factors than do human decidual cells cultured under the same conditions, indicating that induction may be a general process during the dissociation of tissues in vitro as the production of interleukins-1β, -6 and -8, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β2, tissue necrosis factor-α, prostaglandins E2 and F, and prolactin were all affected. The induction of cytokine production (expressed per mg tissue protein) ranged from 10- to 300-fold, indicating that isolated cells cultured in vitro may not reflect accurately the in vivo situation.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 151, 309–313

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LESLIE MYATT, GAUTAM CHAUDHURI, M. G. ELDER and LOUIS LIM

The presence of an intra-uterine device in the rat results in a lower nuclear concentration of the oestrogen receptor in the treated horn at pro-oestrus when it is compared with the contralateral control horn. This effect was also seen after the administration of hyperphysiological doses of oestradiol and when the horn was exposed in vitro to high concentrations of oestradiol. The cyclic changes during the oestrous cycle in the activity of the oestrogen-induced enzyme peroxidase were similar in the treated and control horns. These observations have discounted the possibility that the relatively lower nuclear receptor content in the treated horn at pro-oestrus was due to a decreased exposure to oestrogen. A significantly lower nuclear content was also observed in the treated horn on days 4 and 5 of pregnancy. This was not associated with a deficiency in cytosol receptor content which increased concurrently with that of the control horn in the 6 days of pregnancy that were studied. The proportional content of the putative cytosol factor implicated in receptor translocation was similar in both horns, increasing on days 4 and 6 in concert with reported changes in 'induced protein' synthesis. There appeared to be reduced levels of nuclear receptor at a time when blastocyst implantation normally occurs.

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F A Hills, M G Elder, T Chard and M H F Sullivan

Many studies have implicated the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in the control of the feto–maternal interface of human pregnancy, but many of the data are from cell lines derived from primary trophoblast or from extravillous trophoblast. We have obtained highly enriched villous cytotrophoblast (VCT) from first trimester and term human placentae, and investigated the effects of IGF-I, IGF-II and phosphoisoforms of IGFBP-1. First trimester villous trophoblast cells were regulated by all these factors. IGF-II increased cell numbers 3.5-fold after 96 h in culture, and IGF-I had less effect (1.5-fold increase) (both P<0.05). IGF-II also had a greater effect on the levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. Phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated iso-forms of IGFBP-1 added alone increased cell numbers and MMP levels (P<0.05). IGFBP-1 did not modify the effects of IGF-II on cell numbers or on MMP production. Term VCT numbers and MMP production in vitro were unaffected by IGFs (P>0.05). Cell numbers were increased only by 100 nM IGFBP-1 isoforms (P<0.05), whereas MMP levels released from term cells were optimally increased by 1–10 nM IGFBP-1. Overall, our data show that IGFs regulate only first trimester, but not term, VCT. IGFBP-1 regulates VCT from both gestations, but the effects are concentration and end-point specific. In particular, first trimester cell numbers are more affected by low levels of IGFBP-1, whereas high levels of IGFBP-1 are needed to increase MMP and the converse applies to term VCT; low levels of IGFBP-1 have more effect on MMP levels.