Different effects of the antiprogesterone RU486 on progesterone secretion by the corpus luteum of rats with 4- and 5-day oestrous cycles

in Journal of Endocrinology
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ABSTRACT

Administration of the antiprogesterone RU486 (2 mg/day) for 14 days to rats with a 5-day reproductive cycle resulted in an increase in both ovarian and pituitary weight in contrast with rats with a 4-day oestrous cycle. Luteal progesterone production decreased earlier in 4-day than in 5-day cyclic rats. Treatment of 5-day cyclic rats with antiprogesterone from the day of metoestrus onwards resulted in the advancement of the preovulatory prolactin surge by 24 h. Progesterone production by the corpus luteum was, however, not affected, indicating that in 5-day cyclic rats the corpora lutea are still functionally active at the time of the preovulatory surge of prolactin. They become, therefore, stimulated both in size and progesterone production. In contrast, the corpora lutea in 4-day cyclic rats are functionally inactive at the time of the preovulatory surge of prolactin, and prolactin acts luteolytically. In conclusion, the advancement of the preovulatory surge of prolactin by 24 h accounts, at least in part, for the increase in ovarian weight in 5-day cyclic rats after treatment with antiprogesterone. The results of these experiments do not agree with a direct effect of the antiprogesterone RU486 on progesterone secretion by the corpus luteum.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 132, 115–122

 

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