Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulated synthesis of both progesterone and 20α-hydroxypregn-4-en-3-one by rabbit ovarian tissue in vitro. Progesterone synthesis was stimulated by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), but 20α-hydroxypregn-4-en-3-one production was only slightly affected by NADP compared with the effect of LH. When NADP was added with glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) or 6-phospho-gluconate (6-P-G), no apparent stimulation of progestational steroid synthesis occurred.
Specific activity measurements suggested that stimulation of synthesis was masked by increased conversion of progestational steroids to other products.
When NADP and submaximal concentrations of LH were used together, potentiation rather than addition of effects on progesterone synthesis was found, and addition of effects with supramaximal concentrations of LH. No potentiation was found when NADP was replaced by NADP and G-6-P or 6-P-G, or by NADPH2. NADP, unlike LH, caused striking stimulation of progesterone synthesis by separated corpora lutea. It is suggested that the present results provide further support for the view that the actions of LH and NADP are related.