The effect of protein kinase C activation and dibutyryl cyclic AMP on oxytocin secretion by ovine luteal tissue slices was investigated. Several putative regulators of luteal oxytocin secretion were also examined. Oxytocin was secreted by luteal tissue slices at a basal rate of 234·4 ± 32·8 pmol/g per h (n = 24) during 60-min incubations.Activators of protein kinase C: phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (n = 8), phorbol 12-myristate,13-acetate (n = 4) and 1,2-didecanoylglycerol (n = 5), caused a dose-dependent stimulation of oxytocin secretion in the presence of a calcium ionophore (A23187; 0·2 μmol/l). Phospholipase C (PLC; 50–250 units/l) also caused a dose-dependent stimulation of oxytocin secretion by luteal slices. Phospholipase C-stimulated oxytocin secretion was potentiated by the addition of an inhibitor of diacylglycerol kinase (R59 022; n = 4).
These data suggest that the activation of protein kinase C has a role in the stimulation of luteal oxytocin secretion. The results are also consistent with the involvement of protein kinase C in PLC-stimulated oxytocin secretion. The cyclic AMP second messenger system does not appear to be involved in the control of oxytocin secretion by the corpus luteum.