Assessment of the in vitro and in vivo biological activities of the human follicle-stimulating isohormones

J Barrios-De-Tomasi, C Timossi, H Merchant, A Quintanar, J M Avalos, C Yding Andersen, A Ulloa-Aguirre


Gonadotropins are synthesized and released in different molecular forms. In this article, we present evidence that the glycosylation variants of human pituitary FSH exhibit differential and divergent effects at the target cell level and that less sialylated, short-lived variants may exert significant effects in in vivo conditions. Less acidic/sialylated glycoforms (elution pH value 6.60-4.60 as disclosed by high resolution chromatofocusing of anterior glycoprotein extracts), induced higher cAMP release, estrogen production and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) enzyme activity as well as cytochrome P450 aromatase and tPA mRNA expression in cultured rat granulosa cells than the more acidic analogs (pH<4.76). By contrast, the more acidic/sialylated glycoforms induced higher alpha-inhibin subunit mRNA expression than their less acidic counterparts. In cumulus enclosed oocytes isolated from mice ovaries, addition of less acidic isoforms induced resumption of meiosis more efficiently than the more acidic analogs. Interestingly, the least acidic isoform (pH>7.10) behave as a strong antagonist of several FSH-mediated effects. Assessment of the in vivo effects of the isoforms on granulosa cell proliferation in follicles from immature rats, revealed that short-lived isoforms were equally or even more efficient than their more acidic counterparts in maintaining granulosa cell proliferation when administered immediately after hypophysectomy. These results show that the naturally occurring human FSH isoforms may exhibit differential or even unique effects at the target cell level and that factors other than the metabolic clearance rate of the molecule (including receptor-binding affinity and capability of the ligand to activate its receptor and trigger intracellular signaling) also play an important role in determining the net in vivo effects of a particular FSH variant.

TidsskriftMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)189-98
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 25 jan. 2002
Udgivet eksterntJa


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