Prostaglandin F2α caused both a morphological regression of the corpus luteum and a decrease in peripheral progestin levels within 24 hr after administration to rabbits on Day 8 of pseudopregnancy. The degenerating luteal cells contained autophagic vacuoles and an abundance of whorled smooth endoplasmic reticulum which transformed into myelin figures. The normal regression observed at the end of pseudopregnancy (Day 16, 18 and 20) was characterized by a decrease in whorled smooth endoplasmic reticulum and by an increase in the number of lipid droplets. The appearance of these droplets changed from moderately dense to lucent during this period. Autophagic vacuoles and myelin figures were not prevalent, suggesting that the lytic process may differ between normal and prostaglandin F2α-induced luteolysis.
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