Research Output

Antiinflammatory steroid action in human ovarian surface epithelial cells.

  The human ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) is subject to
serial injury and repair during ovulation, which is a natural inflammatory event. We asked whether there is a compensatory antiinflammatory component to this process, involving steroid hormones produced locally at the time of ovulation. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of total RNA from cultured human OSE cell monolayers showed that exposure to proinflammatory IL1Alpha (500 pg/ml) increased mRNA levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (P < 0.01) at 48 h. The COX-2mRNAresponse to IL1Alpha was associated with an approximate 18-fold (P < 0.01) increase in mRNA levels of 11Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11BetaHSD1), encoding the steroid dehydrogenase that reversibly reduces cortisone to antiinflammatory cortisol. Addition of cortisol to OSE cell culture medium dosedependently
suppressed the COX-2 mRNA response to IL1Alpha (P < 0.01) but reciprocally enhanced the 11BetaHSD1 mRNA response
(P < 0.05), with both effects strongest at 1 muM cortisol.
Presence of glucocorticoid receptor-Alpha mRNA and protein was established in OSE cell monolayers and treatment with IL1Alpha shown to significantly up-regulate the glucocorticoid receptor- Alpha mRNA level (P < 0.05). Glucocorticoid receptor antagonist (RU486, 10 muM) fully reversed the inhibitory effect of 1 muM cortisol on IL1Alpha-stimulated COX-2 mRNA expression. Progesterone also suppressed IL1Alpha-induced COX-2mRNAexpression but had no significant effect on IL1Alpha-stimulated 11BetaHSD1 expression. These data provide direct evidence for antiinflammatory actions of cortisol and progesterone in human OSE cells.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 September 2004

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    The Endocrine Society

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:



Rae, M. T., Niven, D., Critchley, H. O. D. & Harlow, C. R. (2004). Antiinflammatory steroid action in human ovarian surface epithelial cells. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 89, 4538-4544. doi:10.1210/jc.2003-032225. ISSN 0021-972X



Humans; Ovaries; Epithelium; Anti-inflammatory; Steroids; Biochemistry;

Available Documents