PROBLEM: Previously, we observed that follicular fluid obtained from patients with premature luteinization contained elevated interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of luteinizing hormone (LH) on IL-1β expression and IL-1β on steroidogenesis in human granulosa-luteal cells.
METHOD OF STUDY: Human granulosa-luteal cells were obtained during oocyte retrieval. The cells were treated with either LH or IL-1β and subsequently were examined for the level of IL-1β transcript. The conditioned media were examined for IL-1β protein and steroid hormone levels.
RESULTS: LH (250–500 mIU/mL) up-regulated the expression of IL-1β mRNA (up to a 4-fold increase over control; P<0.05) in the granulosa-luteal cells. IL-1β (5–50 ng/mL) increased the basal, but not LH-dependent, progesterone production from these cells in a dose-dependent manner after 96 and 144 hr of culture (P<0.05). However, an inhibitory effect of IL-1β on LH-dependent estradiol production was observed (up to 20% decrease, P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: LH is capable of stimulating IL-1β transcript expression in human granulosa-luteal cells and may regulate ovarian steroidogenesis, at least partly through the activation of IL-1β.