Stromal fibroblasts in the primate endometrium undergo dramatic morphological and biochemical changes in response to pregnancy. This transformation is characterized by the expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1). Stromal cells from the baboon endometrium of nonpregnant animals were cultured and subsequently treated with cytochalasin D to disrupt actin filaments. In response to cytochalasin D treatment, cells contracted and became rounded as early as 10 min after the initiation of treatment. When cytochalasin D was removed, cells reverted back to their original fibroblastic shape within 1 h. After cells were treated with cytochalasin D for 5 h, addition of (Bu)2cAMP and/or hormones (estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and relaxin) resulted in the expression of IGFBP-1 messenger RNA and protein within 24 h. Cells with an intact cytoskeleton did not express detectable levels of IGFBP-1 in response to hormones and/or (Bu)2cAMP. Furthermore, the addition of cycloheximide inhibited expression of IGFBP-1 in cytochalasin D-treated cells. Stromal cells were also isolated from early pregnant and simulated pregnant animals. Within 48 h, cells from both the pregnant and simulated pregnant animals produced IGFBP-1 in response to hormones and/or (Bu)2cAMP. In these studies, IGFBP-1 expression was also inhibited by cycloheximide. These studies suggest that induction of IGFBP-1 requires an intermediary protein and that alterations in the cytoskeleton may be involved.
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