The effect of transforming growth factor-β on steroidogenesis and expression of key steroidogenic enzymes with a human ovarian thecal-like tumor cell model

B. R. Carr, E. A. McGee, C. Sawetawan, C. D. Clyne, W. E. Rainey, G. Weiss, R. B. Jaffe, J. A. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine the effects of transforming growth factor-β on steroidogenesis and regulation of steroidogenic enzyme expression by use of a human ovarian thecal-like tumor cell culture system. STUDY DESIGN: Human ovarian thecal-like tumor cells were treated in serum- free medium in the presence or absence of forskolin and transforming growth factor-β1. The accumulation of progesterone and androstenedione in the culture medium was evaluated by radioimmunoassay. The effects of forskolin with or without transforming growth factor-β1 on the enzymatic activity of P450c17 and 3βHSD, the expression of immunodetectable P450c17 protein, and the expression of messenger ribonucleic acid for P450scc, P450c17, and 3βHSD were determined. RESULTS: Basal steroid secretion, steroidogenic enzyme activity, enzyme protein, and messenger ribonucleic acid expression were not affected by transforming growth factor-β1 alone. Forskolin treatment significantly stimulated steroid production and the enzymatic activity of P450c17 and 3βHSD up to 10-fold above basal levels. However, transforming growth factor-β1 inhibited forskolin-stimulated androstenedione production to near basal levels and increased progesterone 1.4- to 2-fold while suppressing P450c17 enzyme activity to near basal levels, but it did not affect 3βHSD activity. Forskolin stimulated immunodetectable P450c17α protein was markedly inhibited by transforming growth factor-β1. In addition, transforming growth factor-β1 markedly inhibited the forskolin- stimulation of P450c17 messenger ribonucleic acid, while not significantly altering P450scc or 3βHSD messenger ribonucleic acid expression. CONCLUSION: Forskolin stimulated human ovarian thecal-like tumor cell steroidogenesis, P450c17 and 3βHSD activity, immunodetectable P450c17, and messenger ribonucleic acid content for P450scc, P450c17, and 3βHSD. Transforming growth factor-β1 inhibited forskolin stimulation of androstenedione production through the inhibition of P450c17 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1117
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • human ovarian thecal-like tumor cell
  • steroidogenesis
  • Transforming growth factor

Cite this