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Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Jun;20(6):1322-32. Epub 2006 Feb 16.

Differential response of progesterone receptor isoforms in hormone-dependent and -independent facilitation of female sexual receptivity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Neurobehavioral effects of progesterone are mediated primarily by its interaction with neural progesterone receptors (PRs), expressed as PR-A and PR-B protein isoforms. Whereas the expression of two isoforms in the neural tissues is suggestive of their selective cellular responses and modulation of distinct subsets of PR-induced target genes, the role of individual isoforms in brain and behavior is unknown. We have previously demonstrated a critical role for PRs as transcriptional mediators of progesterone (ligand-dependent), and dopamine (ligand-independent)-facilitated female reproductive behavior in female mice lacking both the isoforms of PR. To further elucidate the selective contribution of the individual PR isoforms in female sexual receptive behavior, we used the recently generated PR-A and PR-B isoform-specific null mutant mice. We present evidence for differential responses of each isoform to progesterone and dopamine agonist, SKF 81297 (SKF), and demonstrate a key role for PR-A isoform in both hormone-dependent and -independent facilitation of sexual receptive behavior. Interestingly, whereas both the isoforms were essential for SKF-facilitated sexual behavior, PR-A appeared to play a more important role in the 8-bromo-cAMP-facilitated lordosis response, raising the possibility of distinct intracellular signaling pathways mediating the responses. Finally, we also demonstrate that antiprogestin, RU38486, was an effective inhibitor of PR-A-mediated, progesterone-dependent, but not SKF or 8-bromo-cAMP-dependent sexual receptivity. The data reveal the selective contributions of individual isoforms to the signaling pathways mediating female reproductive behavior.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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