Growth differential factor 9 inhibits testosterone production in mouse theca interstitial cells

Growth differential factor-9 can inhibit the production of testosterone in mouse theca interstitial cells and suppress corresponding gene expression.

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Ming-hui Chen, M.D., Tao Li, Ph.D., Chen-hui Ding, Ph.D., Yan-wen Xu, Ph.D., Lu-yan Guo, M.Sc., Can-quan Zhou, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 5, Pages 1444-1450, November 2013



To explore the effect of growth differential factor-9 (GDF-9) alone on cell proliferation, cell viability, steroidogenesis, and hormone-stimulated gene expression in cultured mouse theca interstitial cells.


Basic research.


University hospital.


Immature 3- to 4-week-old SPF KM mice obtained from the Laboratory Animal Center of Sun Yat-Sen University.


Addition of GDF-9 at different dosages to primary culture of mouse theca interstitial cells.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Cell number, cell viability, progesterone and testosterone levels, and hormone-stimulated gene mRNA abundance.


Growth differential factor-9 mildly increased the number of mouse theca interstitial cells and cell viability in a dose-dependent manner and mildly inhibited the production of progesterone in mouse theca interstitial cells. Administration of GDF-9 at the dosages of 200 ng/mL and 400 ng/mL resulted in a significant decrease in the testosterone level compared with the control group by 60.42% and 68.76%, respectively. Growth differential factor-9 significantly suppressed Lhcgr mRNA by 47.36%, Cyp11a1 mRNA by 62.30%, and Cyp17a1 mRNA by 55.39%, but had only a mild effect on Star gene expression.


Growth differential factor-9 can inhibit the production of testosterone in mouse theca interstitial cells and suppress the corresponding gene expression.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.