Ovarian granulosa cell lines

Jon C. Havelock, William E. Rainey, Bruce R. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

110 Scopus citations


The ovary is a complex endocrine gland responsible for production of sex steroids and is the source of fertilizable ova for reproduction. It also produces various growth factors, transcription factors and cytokines that assist in the complex signaling pathways of folliculogenesis. The ovary possesses two primary steroidogenic cell types. The theca cells (and to a lesser extent, the stroma) are responsible for androgen synthesis, and the granulosa cells are responsible for conversion of androgens to estrogens, as well as progesterone synthesis. These cells undergo a transformation in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, converting them from estrogen producing, to predominantly progesterone producing cells. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating these cells is essential in understanding the regulation of steroidogenesis and reproduction. Creation of appropriate in vitro cell model systems can provide important tools for the study of ovarian function. This has led to the development of ovarian steroidogenic cell lines in several laboratories. Developing theca cell lines has met with limited success. Conversely, numerous human and animal granulosa cell lines have been developed. This review will discuss the existing granulosa cell lines and their characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 30 2004


  • Estrogen
  • Folliculogenesis
  • Granulosa cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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