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B. Lejeune, R. Lecocq, F. Lamy, and F. Leroy

Summary. Ovariectomized rats were given hormonal treatment mimicking progestational ovarian secretions. At maximal sensitivity a decidual reaction was induced by scratching the endometrium. After incubation of tissue with [35S]methionine, proteins were extracted from decidualizing and control endometrium and submitted to two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (pH range 5–7), followed by staining or autoradiography. A total of about 800 different peptides could be distinguished on the gels. By 24 h after the decidual stimulus the most prominent changes were the appearance of 4 new peptides (mol. wt 12 000, 25 000, 42 000 and 56 000) and the disappearance of 5 others (mol. wt 31 000, 35 000, 100 000, 110 000 and 140 000). This new pattern remained grossly unchanged up to 72 h after decidual induction.

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B. Lejeune, F. Lamy, R. Lecocq, J. Deschacht, and F. Leroy

Summary. Groups of ovariectomized rats were taken as controls or given hormonal treatment mimicking the successive steps in the sequence of ovarian secretions leading to implantation. Total endometrium or separated epithelium and stroma were incubated in vitro with [35S]methionine. Dissolved proteins were submitted to two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (pH range 5–7), followed by autoradiography. Priming with oestradiol (2 days) and subsequent treatment with progesterone (3 days) enhanced the synthesis of 12 and 14 polypeptides, respectively, which are specific for each of these treatments. Progesterone also suppressed the production of 10 oestrogen-dependent proteins both in the epithelium and the stroma. When an oestrogen—progesterone—oestrogen treatment was given, synthesis of all but 4 of the progesterone-induced polypeptides in the epithelium was inhibited while 5 of the proteins abolished by progesterone in this tissue compartment reappeared. These results are compatible with a mechanism of implantation acting at the epithelial level by lifting of intrauterine inhibition and stimulation by embryotrophic substances.