Intraovarian interleukin-1 (IL-1), a putative intermediary in the ovulatory cascade, has recently been implicated as an antiatretic agent. Given the reported antigonadotropic and thus atretogenic potential of granulosa cell-derived insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins (IG-FBPs), we evaluated the ability of IL-1β to regulate ovarian IGFBP-4 and -5, the IGFBP species elaborated by the rat granulosa cell. Treatment of whole ovarian dispersates of immature rat origin with increasing concentrations of IL-1β for 96 h resulted in substantial and significant time-dependent inhibition of IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-5 transcripts compared with that in untreated controls. The IL-1 effect proved relatively specific in that no significant alterations in IGFBP transcripts were observed in the presence of select ovarian agonists, including transforming growth factor-α, tumor necrosis factor-α, endothelin-1, hepatocyte growth factor, keratinocyte growth factor, or basic fibroblast growth factor. The inhibitory effect of IL-1β on ovarian IGFBP-4 and -5 expression was almost completely reversed in the presence of IL-1 receptor antagonist, suggesting mediation via a specific IL-1 receptor. The addition of actinomycin D to IL-1β-pretreated whole ovarian dispersates produced a pattern of (IGFBP-4 and -5) messenger RNA decay indistinguishable from that noted for the untreated control group. Medium conditioned by IL-1β-treated (but not untreated) whole ovarian dispersates displayed a marked diminution in the relative content of the IG-FBP-4 and IGFBP-5 proteins (24- and 28- to 29-kDa proteins, respectively). Medium conditioned by IL-1β-treated (but not untreated) whole ovarian dispersates proteolyzed [125I]IGFBP-5 (but not IGFBP-4) into fragments with apparent molecular masses of 18 and 14 kDa, respectively. In conclusion, our present observations demonstrate the ability of IL-1 to 1) inhibit the steady state levels of transcripts corresponding to IGFBP-4 and -5 in a time-dependent, relatively specific, and receptor-mediated fashion; 2) suppress the accumulation of the corresponding IGFBP proteins; and 3) stimulate the activity of the IGFBP-5-directed (but not IGFBP-4) endopeptidase, a posttranscriptional phenomenon. Our findings also suggest, by inference, that the IL-1β-mediated inhibition of IGFBP-4 and -5 transcripts is due in part to a decrease in the rate of transcription of the corresponding genes and not to a change in the stability of the relevant messenger RNAs. Consequently, the ability of IL-1 to influence ovarian IGFBP economy appears multifaceted, comprising both transcriptional and posttranscriptional effects. To the extent that IGFBP-4 and -5 constitute atretogenic agents, our present findings support the view that IL-1β may play an antiatretic role in the context of ovarian physiology.
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