Differences in the rabbit uterine response to progesterone as influenced by growth hormone or prolactin

in Reproduction

Summary. The direct effect of growth hormone (GH) on the uterine response to progesterone was tested by using ovariectomized rabbits (at least 12 weeks) treated with GH; GH + progesterone; or progesterone alone. These results were compared with the effect of prolactin or prolactin + progesterone on the uterus. Prolactin treatment produced an increase (P < 0·01) in the endometrial surface area and restored cytosolic oestrogen and progesterone receptor concentrations to oestrous control values. The sequential treatment of does with prolactin + progesterone stimulated uteroglobin production to a concentration equal to that found in intact rabbits on Day 5 of pregnancy. In contrast, GH treatment had no effect on endometrial surface area, produced an increase in the concentration of cytosolic oestrogen receptor but did not produce an increase in the concentration of progesterone receptor. The sequential treatment of does with GH + progesterone failed to stimulate uteroglobin secretion above control (progesterone alone) values. It is concluded that the action of prolactin in the rabbit uterus is not generally somatogenic; rather, prolactin increases the concentration of progesterone receptor and thereby enhances the uterine response to progesterone.

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