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The corpus luteum (CL), develops from the ruptured follicle after gonadotropin stimulation. Based on intracellular reorganization of the cytoskeleton an human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) dependent sprouting and migration of luteinizing granulosa cells (LGCs) and endothelial cells is observed. Rho-GTPases are shown to be key regulators of cytoskeletal restructuring. In the present study we analyzed the role of Rho-GTPases in the sprouting activity of LGCs. We used the Rho-GTPase-inhibitors Toxin A and -B and the Cdc42-activator Bradykinin in a LGC-spheroid sprouting assay to determine the effect of these modulators in LGCs. Toxin A and Toxin B reduces sprout formation in LGC spheroids. However, the reduction is less than in hCG treated cells. The usage of Bradykinin demonstrates both, a reduction of sprouts in untreated spheroids and an increase of sprouting in previous hCG treated spheroids. The presented results let us suggest that small Rho-GTPases may regulate the sprouting activity of LGCs after stimulation by hCG and that this mechanism may play a role in CL formation.


Maximilian B Franz, Stefanie Daube, Christoph Keck, Michael Sator, Detlef Pietrowski. Small GTPases are involved in sprout formation in human granulosa lutein cells. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics. 2013 Apr;287(4):819-24

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PMID: 23192625

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