Functional growth hormone (GH) receptors and GH are expressed by preimplantation mouse embryos: a role for GH in early embryogenesis?

Pantaleon, M. and Whiteside, E. J. ORCID: and Harvey, M. B. and Barnard, R. T. and Waters, M. J. and Kaye, P. L. (1997) Functional growth hormone (GH) receptors and GH are expressed by preimplantation mouse embryos: a role for GH in early embryogenesis? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94 (10). pp. 5125-5130. ISSN 0027-8424


The results of this study challenge the widely held view that growth hormone (GH) acts only during the postnatal period. RNA phenotyping shows transcripts for the GH receptor and GH-binding protein in mouse preimplantation embryos of all stages from fertilized eggs (day 1) to blastocysts (day 4). An antibody specific to the cytoplasmic region of the GH receptor revealed receptor protein expression, first in two-cell embryos, the stage of activation of the embryonic genome (day 2), and in all subsequent stages. In cleavage-stage embryos this immunoreactivity was localized mainly to the nucleus, but clear evidence of membrane labeling was apparent in blastocysts. GH receptor immunoreactivity was also observed in cumulus cells associated with unfertilized oocytes but not in the unfertilized oocytes. The blastocyst receptor was demonstrated to be functional, exhibiting the classic bell-shaped dose–response curves for GH stimulation of both 3-O-methyl glucose transport and protein synthesis. Maximal stimulation of 40–50% was seen for both responses at less than 1 ng/ml recombinant GH, suggesting a role for maternal GH. However mRNA transcripts for GH were also detected from the morula stage (day 3) by using reverse transcription–PCR, and GH immunoreactivity was seen in blastocysts. These observations raise the possibility of a paracrine/autocrine GH loop regulating embryonic development in its earliest stages.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 01:51
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 01:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: Preimplantation physiology, protein synthesis, glucose transport
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1116 Medical Physiology > 111601 Cell Physiology
06 Biological Sciences > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060103 Cell Development, Proliferation and Death
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111404 Reproduction
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321503 Reproduction
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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