Expression of LRH-1 and SF-1 in the mouse ovary: Localization in different cell types correlates with differing function

Margaret M. Hinshelwood, Joyce J. Repa, John M. Shelton, James A. Richardson, David J. Mangelsdorf, Carole R. Mendelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations


Steroid biosynthesis in ovary is enhanced by the orphan nuclear receptor, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1); however, we reported that liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1), a closely related receptor to SF-1, is also expressed in mouse ovary. To further investigate the role of LRH-1 in mouse ovary, we used in situ hybridization to identify the cell types that express LRH-1 versus SF-1, and carried out functional studies to determine the role of LRH-1 in the regulation of the human (h) ovary-specific CYP19 promoter. LRH-1 expression was found to be abundant and highly restricted to cells involved in estrogen biosynthesis-granulosa cells during the estrous cycle, and in corpora lutea (CL) of pregnancy. In contrast, SF-1 was expressed most highly in C 19-steroid-producing theca cells and interstitium, and at low levels in granulosa and luteal cells. Transfection studies using granulosa cells demonstrated that LRH-1 is a potent regulator of both basal and forskolin-induced transcription of the ovary-specific hCYP19 promoter. This activity was dependent upon two nuclear receptor half-sites within the proximal hCYP19 promoter. Based on these findings, we propose that LRH-1 plays an important role as a competence factor in regulating aromatase, and thus estrogen biosynthesis, in ovary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2003


  • Aromatase
  • Granulosa cell
  • LRH-1
  • Luteal cell
  • Ovary
  • SF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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