Human α‐fetoprotein purified from amniotic fluid enhances growth factor‐mediated cell proliferation in vitro

Brooks A. Keel, Kevan B. Eddy, Sechin Cho, Jeffrey V. May

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12 Scopus citations


Using a primary monolayer culture of porcine granulosa cells (pGC) as an in vitro cell proliferation assay, we have examined the growth‐promoting activity of α‐fetoprotein (AFP) purified from term cord blood and midtrimester amniotic fluid. Increasing concentrations (2.5–20%) of crude human cord blood (CB) increased pGC proliferation, while identical concentrations of crude amniotic fluid (AF) were ineffective. When the cell system was maximally stimulated, AF dose dependently decreased cell proliferation. AFP purified from AF and CB (1.25–5.0 μg/ml) was not mitogenic alone, but, in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) + insulin‐like growth factor (IGF‐I) (10 ng/ml each), AFP dose dependently increased cell proliferation to nearly double that of EGF + IGF‐I alone. The response of pGC to the proliferative effects of AF‐AFP and CB‐AFP were identical at each dose of AFP tested. These results indicate that although crude, pooled midtrimester AF does not display the mitogenic activity seen in cord blood, AFP purified from pooled AF significantly synergizes with growth factors to increase cell proliferation markedly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes



  • AFP
  • Cord blood
  • Porcine granulosa cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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