The interactions between insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in follicular growth and ovulation were studied with the use of an isolated perfused rabbit ovary preparation. Ovulation failed to occur in either control ovaries or the experimental ovaries perfused with IGF-I in a concentration of 1, 10, or 100 ng/ml in the absence of gonadotropin. Exposure to IGF-I stimulated the secretion rate of angiotensin II-like immunoreactivity (Ang II-IR) in perfused rabbit ovaries in a dose-dependent manner. The percent increase in follicle diameter in ovaries perfused with IGF-I for 12 h was significantly correlated with the secretion rate of Ang II-IR at 12 h after exposure to IGF-I. The addition of IGFBP-3 to the perfusate did not induce ovulation in the absence of gonadotropin, but exposure to IGFBP-3 inhibited hCG-induced ovulation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, IGFBP-3 significantly reduced the ovarian secretion rate of Ang II-IR and prostaglandins stimulated by hCG administration. Intrafollicular plasminogen activator (PA) activity significantly increased within 4 h after exposure to 100 ng/ml of IGF-I, compared with that in control ovaries perfused with medium alone. The concomitant addition of IGFBP-3 to the perfusate significantly reduced the IGF-I-stimulated PA activity in the preovulatory follicles at 4, 6, and 8 h after exposure to IGF-I. However, IGFBP-3 alone affected neither the ovarian secretion rate of Ang II-IR nor intrafollicular PA activity. Exposure to streptokinase, an exogenous PA, in vitro stimulated both follicular growth and the intrafollicular Ang II-IR content. In conclusion, IGF-I enhances both ovarian Ang II production and follicular development by stimulating intrafollicular PA activity.
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