Summary. In Exp. I, blood samples were collected simultaneously from the posterior vena cava and jugular vein or aorta from 7 heifers every 5–20 min for 2–5 h. Concomitant pulsatile secretion of oxytocin and immunoreactive neurophysin I was detected in the vena cava, but not in the jugular vein or aorta. Concentrations of oxytocin and immunoreactive neurophysin increased earlier and were higher in the vena cava than in the jugular vein or aorta after the injection of a luteolytic dose of prostaglandin F-2α analogue during the mid-luteal phase of the oestrous cycle, demonstrating its ovarian but not pituitary origin. In Exp. II, blood samples were collected from the jugular vein every 12 h during 1 week after oestrus. Follicular growth had been stimulated during the preceding oestrous cycle with PMSG (10 heifers and cows) or with FSH (5 animals); 6 heifers served as controls. There was a high correlation between the number of follicles or CL and the increase in oxytocin and immunoreactive neurophysin I. Although PMSG had a greater luteotrophic effect than did FSH on progesterone secretion, a similar stimulation of oxytocin and immunoreactive neurophysin I was not observed.
It is concluded that immunoreactive neurophysin I and oxytocin are secreted from the ovary in concentrations dependent upon the number of corpora lutea (and of follicles) present. During the mid-luteal period the secretion occurs in a concomitant pulsatile fashion.
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