Effect of nitric oxide on the expression of insulin-like growth factors and the insulin-like growth factor binding proteins throughout the lifespan of the human corpus luteum
Research The presence of insulin-like growth factors (IGF), IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) and IGF receptor type 1 (IGF-IR) in the human corpus luteum was investigated by examining the expression and production of related proteins throughout the lifespan of the corpus luteum and the action of nitric oxide upon their production. The expression of proteins in corpora lutea from the early, midand late luteal phases was assessed by immunohistochemistry, evaluated by a semi-quantitative analysis and
... tive analysis and the functional study was performed in corpus luteum explants incubated with nitric oxide donors. IGF-I and -II and IGFBP-1 and -3 were measured in the culture media by specific immunoassays. The results showed that IGF-I and -II, IGFBP-1 to -6 and IGF-IR were detected in the human corpus luteum throughout the luteal phase. Moreover, the expression and production of IGF-I and IGFBP-1 increased progressively from corpora lutea from the early to late luteal phases (P < 0.05), whereas the expression and production of IGFBP-2, -4 and -5 were significantly higher in corpora lutea from the mid-luteal phase (P < 0.05). No differences were observed in the expression of IGF-II, IGFBP-3 and -6 and IGF-IR throughout the lifespan of the corpus luteum. However, functional studies showed that nitric oxide donors elicited a stimulatory action on production of IGF-I in corpora lutea from the early luteal phase (80%) and on production of IGFBP-1 in corpora lutea from the late luteal phase (50%) (P < 0.05), whereas production of IGF-II and IGFBP-3 was not affected by nitric oxide. In conclusion, the components of the IGF-IGFBP system are expressed in the human corpus luteum throughout its lifespan. Nitric oxide regulates IGF-I and IGFBP-1 production, indicating that the growth factors may serve, at least in part, as mediators of the action of nitric oxide in the human corpus luteum.