Estradiol regulation of the rabbit corpus luteum: In vivo and in vitro studies

A. M. Dharmarajan, V. L. Zanagnolo, L. M. Dasko, B. R. Zirkin, L. L. Ewing, E. E. Wallach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether estradiol has a direct effect on progesterone secretion by the rabbit corpus luteum. Empty or estradiol-filled Silastic capsules were implanted sc into pseudopregnant rabbits (day 0). Ten days later (day 10), peripheral blood was obtained via the marginal ear vein, and Silastic capsules were removed. Twenty-four hours after capsule removal (day 11), blood samples were obtained and ovaries removed for in vitro perfusion. The artery and vein of each ovary were individually cannulated, and ovaries were perfused in vitro for 6 h. Mean progesterone secretion rates were determined from perfusate samples taken every 30 min. On day 10, serum progesterone concentrations were similar in control and estradiol-treated animals. On day 11, 24 h after withdrawal of Silastic capsules, serum progesterone concentration in the estradiol-treated rabbits decreased significantly compared to controls. The withdrawal of estradiol also significantly reduced the secretion of progesterone by in vitro perfused ovaries in estradiol-withdrawn rabbits compared to empty capsule controls. Addition of estradiol or 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OH) to the perfusion medium significantly increased progesterone secretion by ovaries from estradiol-withdrawn rabbits but not to control values. In contrast, a combination of estradiol plus 25-OH restored progesterone secretion to control levels. Although estradiol together with 25-OH stimulated progesterone secretion 24 h after estradiol withdrawal, progesterone secretion in vitro was unaffected 48 h after capsule removal, whereas pregnenolone stimulated secretion 5-fold. These results demonstrate that estradiol has a direct and acute stimulatory effect on progesterone secretion by the rabbit corpus luteum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2678-2684
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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