The oestrogen receptor in the rat uterus in relation to intra-uterine devices and the oestrous cycle

L. Myatt, G. Chaudhuri, M. G. Elder, L. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We investigated the binding characteristics, content and intracellular distribution of nuclear and cytosolic oestrogen receptors in the uteri of rats bearing a unilateral intra-uterine device, fitted 14-18 days earlier, at four phases of a 5-day oestrous cycle. The patterns of changes in wet weight and content of cytosolic and nuclear receptor that normally occur during the oestrous cycle were not altered by the presence of the device. At all stages of the cycle the intra-uterine-device-containing horn had a greater wet weight and a correspondingly higher content of cytosolic receptor than its contralateral control horn, the cellular concentration of cytosolic receptor being apparently maintained. However, the intra-uterine-device-containing horn had significantly lower cellular concentrations (i.e. per mg of DNA) of nuclear receptor, particularly at late dioestrus and pro-oestrus. Thus the treated horn showed a decreased translocation of receptor in response to increases in circulating oestrogens. Both horns contained equivalent amounts of an activating factor implicated in translocation and measured in vitro by binding of cytosol receptor to oligo (dT)-cellulose. The presence of an intra-uterine device neither altered the dissociation constants (K(d)) of the nuclear and cytosolic oestrogen-receptor complexes nor the stability of the nuclear receptor complex in vitro. The decreased translocation cannot thus be directly attributed to changes in the physical properties of the receptor. This decrease may be responsible for the anti-fertility effect of the intra-uterine device (which affects only the treated horn of the bicornuate rat uterus), since implantation of the blastocyst requires correct concentrations of nuclear oestrogen receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-529
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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