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Steroids. 1991 Dec;56(12):589-97.

Progesterone-regulated secretion of the serpin-like proteins of the ovine and bovine uterus.

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  • 1Dairy Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-0701.


The uterine milk (UTM) proteins are the major progesterone-regulated proteins secreted by the sheep uterus during pregnancy. Recently, proteins related to the UTM proteins have been identified in uterine secretions of the pregnant cow and sow. The present objective was to determine the time course for induction of the UTM proteins in sheep and cattle. Twelve ovariectomized ewes received subcutaneous injections of either vehicle for 10 days or 100 mg/d of progesterone for 10 days or 30 days. The presence of UTM proteins was examined by Western blotting of uterine flushings and by immunoabsorption of radiolabeled UTM proteins from conditioned medium of endometrial explant cultures performed with [35S]methionine precursor. Uterine milk proteins were present in slight amounts in uterine flushings and endometrial-conditioned culture medium of some ewes in the control group, but amounts of proteins were greatly enhanced by progesterone after 10 or 30 days of treatment. Prolonged exposure to progesterone (30 days versus 10 days) increased amounts of UTM proteins. Immunohistochemical analysis of endometrium indicated that the major site of UTM proteins was the glandular epithelium. In the second experiment, nine ovariectomized cows were treated daily with vehicle for 12 days or 750 mg progesterone for 12 or 30 days. Uterine flushings and conditioned endometrial culture medium were examined for UTM proteins by Western blotting. Uterine milk proteins were present to some degree in cows treated with vehicle, and an enhancement in amounts of UTM proteins was not observed until after 30 days of progesterone treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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