During the days preceding the first ovulation the ovary of the rat exhibits a remarkable increase in estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) release in response to gonadotropins. No such increase is observed in the case of androgens (A, testosterone + dihydrotestosterone). The present experiments were undertaken to examine the possibility of reproducing these developmental events by stimulating the ovary with a gonadotropin that has substantial FSH-like activity. In vivo administration of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) to juvenile 29-day-old rats greatly increased the in vitro E2 and A response to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) measured 2 days later in the morning. The magnitude of the A response was significantly larger than that of ovaries from juvenile animals or rats in first proestrus. The E2 response was much greater than that of juvenile ovaries but similar to that of ovaries from late proestrous rats. In contrast, the P response to hCG was not enhanced by PMSG. In fact the response was similar to that of juvenile ovaries and markedly less than that of first proestrous rats. This decreased P response was not due to a greater conversion of P to its less active metabolite 20α-hydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (20α-OH-P). The results suggest that PMSG enhances the E2 and A response of immature ovaries to hCG at the expense of that of P. Treatment of immature rats with PMSG may represent a useful model to study E2 release from preovulatory ovaries, but it cannot be used to reproduce in its entirety the developmental changes in steroidal response to gonadotropins associated with normal puberty.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
|Published - Jan 1985
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology