Regional pattern of cell maturation and progesterone biosynthesis in the avian granulosa cell layer

B. L. Marrone, M. Jamaluddin, F. Hertelendy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to compare the structural and functional features of cells derived from histologically different regions of the granulosa cell layer of hen preovulatory follicles. Granulosa cells were isolated from a 0.8 - 1.5-cm diameter region of the granulosa layer overlying the germinal disc (GD) or from the remainder of the granulosa layer peripheral to the disc region (GP). In the first study, the isolated cells were prepared from each region of the five largest preovulatory follicles; fixed; stained with fluorescent dyes for DNA, total protein, and RNA; and analyzed by use of multiparameter flow cytometry. A greater percentage of cells from the GD region than from the GP region were in proliferative (S and G2/M) stages of the cell cycle in the four largest follicles. In addition, GD cells had lower relative protein content than GP cells in the two largest follicles. In the second study, progesterone biosynthesis in response to treatment with luteinizing hormone (LH) or forskolin was examined in granulosa cells from the GD and the GP regions of the largest preovulatory follicles. GP cells had greater responsiveness to the treatments than GD cells. In addition, conversion of 25-hydroxy-cholesterol to progesterone was greater in GP cells than in GD cells. There were no differences in cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) production by GD and GP cells in response to LH or forskolin or in the ability of cells from each region to convert pregnenolone substrate to progesterone via 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity. Thus, the greater steroidogenic responsiveness of GP cells to LH appears to be due to a post-cAMP step in the hormonal cascade, namely, greater activity of the P-450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme in GP cells. The results indicate that cells from the GD region of the hen granulosa layer are less mature than cells in the GP region on the basis of both morphological and functional characteristics. The germinal disc, as suggested from earlier histological observations, may be a central region for cell growth and differentiation in the hen granulosa cell layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional pattern of cell maturation and progesterone biosynthesis in the avian granulosa cell layer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this