Functional relationship between fibroblast growth factor-8 and bone morphogenetic proteins in regulating steroidogenesis by rat granulosa cells

Tomoko Miyoshi, Fumio Otsuka, Misuzu Yamashita, Kenichi Inagaki, Eri Nakamura, Naoko Yamauchi, Masaya Takeda, Jiro Suzuki, Hirofumi Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been recognized as crucial molecules in regulating ovarian physiology, with different BMPs having differential actions in FSH-induced estradiol production. To identify the roles of oocyte factors that modulate steroidogenesis controlled by BMPs, we here investigated the effects of FGF-8 in rat granulosa/oocyte co-cultures. FGF-8 potently suppressed FSH-induced estradiol production, but did not affect cAMP-induced estradiol produced by rat granulosa cells. FGF-8 had no effects on progesterone and cAMP production induced by FSH and forskolin. The inhibitory effects of FGF-8 on FSH-induced estradiol production were not altered by BMP-2, -4, -6 or -7. In the presence of FGF-8, BMPs suppressed FSH-induced progesterone by reducing cAMP, suggesting that FGF-8 and BMP independently regulate FSH receptor signaling. Notably, FGF-8-induced ERK and SAPK/JNK phosphorylation in granulosa cells, in which ERK activation was further enhanced by FSH and oocytes. Inhibition of ERK and SAPK/JNK reduced FSH-induced progesterone and cAMP levels, suggesting that the activation of these pathways enhances FSH-induced cAMP signaling. In addition, ERK inhibition upregulated FSH-induced estradiol synthesis, indicating that ERK pathway is also involved in suppressing aromatase activity in granulosa cells. Interestingly, FGF-8 enhanced BMP-induced Smad1/5/8 and Id-1-promoter activities with decreased expression of Smad6/7. Since the SAPK/JNK inhibitor inhibited FGF-8 effects in upregulating Id-1 transcription, SAPK/JNK appears to be involved in the mechanism by which FGF-8 enhances BMP-Smad signaling. Furthermore, in the presence of oocytes, the inhibition of endogenous FGF receptor signaling suppressed FSH- and forskolin-induced progesterone and cAMP, showing that endogenous FGF system is involved in activation of FSH-induced cAMP-PKA signaling via ERK and SAPK/JNK. Thus, the oocyte factor, FGF-8, not only suppresses FSH-induced estradiol production by activating ERK, but also enhances BMP-Smad signaling in granulosa cells. This interaction between FGF-8 and BMPs may play a key role in regulating steroidogenesis through oocyte-granulosa cell communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Bone morphogenetic protein
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Folliculogenesis
  • Granulosa cell
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinase
  • Oocyte
  • Ovary
  • Steroidogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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