Abstract. Granulosa cells were obtained from human preovulatory follicles in 31 women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer due to tubal infertility. Follicular maturation was stimulated and synchronized by treatment with Clomiphene or human menopausal gonadotrophin (hMG), or both, plus human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). Follicles were aspirated by ultrasound guided puncture approximately 34–36 h after the hCG injection.
The granulosa cells were washed and suspended in modified medium 199 containing 10% foetal bovine serum and cultured as monolayers for 6–8 days in the absence and presence of hormones and reactants. Progesterone formation was analyzed by RIA. In general, the cells underwent morphological luteinization and secreted high amount of progesterone. Under basal conditions the secretion of progesterone was highest during the first 2 days in culture and then gradually declined. Progesterone secretion was stimulated by human LH, hCG and the adenylate cyclase stimulator forskolin, with a maximal effect between days 2–6. The β-adrenergic agonist isoproteronol in preliminary experiments potentiated the stimulatory effect of hCG but had no own stimulatory effect. No clear differences in progesterone secretion or responsiveness to in vitro stimulation relating to the various in vivo stimulation protocols were found.