Androgen secretion by Rcho-1 cells is independent of extracellular glutamate concentration

D. Novak, F. Quiggle, J. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In primates, progesterone, secreted by the placenta, is important for the maintenance of pregnancy. Androstenedione, a progesterone metabolite, fulfils a similar role in the rodent. Prior work has suggested that glutamate sufficiency and subsequent oxidation is important to placental androgen synthesis, presumably because of the production of NADPH (Trophoblast Res (1993) 7, 77). Rcho-1 cells possess a phenotype similar to that of rat placental giant cells, and secrete androstenedione and progesterone when in the differentiated state (J Endocrinol (1996) 150, 161). Our objective was to determine whether extracellular glutamate concentrations impact hormone synthesis in Rcho-1 cells. Rcho-1 cells were kept in culture under differentiating conditions. Extracellular glutamate concentrations were varied from 0-5 mM, and hormone concentrations assayed by ELISA. Rcho-1 cells secreted both progesterone and androstenedione. There was no direct correlation between the extracellular concentration of glutamate and the secretion of either hormone. Inhibition of transaminases (aminooxyacetic acid) or of glutaminase (6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine) did not alter hormone production. Therefore, extracellular glutamate concentrations did not impact progesterone or androstenedione secretion. These findings may relate to the central position of glutamate in a variety of metabolic pathways, making intracellular depletion of this amino acid difficult to accomplish, or may represent a species specific difference in regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants NIH RO1-HD29934 and HD-41112 to DAN.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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