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Biol Reprod. 1987 Aug;37(1):117-26.

Detection of a progesterone-dependent secretory protein synthesized by cat endometrium.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago 60680.


Uterine flushings and culture media from endometrial explants incubated in the presence of radiolabeled amino acids were analyzed using one-(1-D) and two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis to identify proteins synthesized by the endometrium and subsequently released into the uterine lumen. 1-D and 2-D analyses of uterine flushings and culture media of endometrial explants obtained from 7- to 11-day pregnant cats (pre-implantation) showed a Mr 30,000 protein that appeared on 2-D gels as a family of macromolecules with isoelectric points between 6.5 and 7.0. This family of macromolecules was also present in the culture media of implantation-site tissue obtained from 12- to 16-day pregnant cats and of nonimplantation-site endometrium obtained form 12- to 28-day pregnant cats. The Mr 30,000 protein was absent in uterine flushings and culture media from estrous and 3- to 5-day-pregnant cats. In ovariectomized, steroid-treated animals, the Mr 30,000 protein was only detected in flushings and media from those animals treated with progesterone, regardless of the presence or absence of estradiol-priming and/or simultaneous estradiol treatment. In daily flushings obtained from ovariectomized, steroid-treated cats equipped with an indwelling uterine catheter, the Mr 30,000 protein was absent during the 14 days of estradiol treatment and was first detected 3-4 days after the onset of estradiol plus progesterone treatment. This protein was not detected in serum from estrous, 9-day pregnant, ovariectomized, and ovariectomized, steroid-treated animals. This study shows that 1) a progesterone-dependent protein, with an approximate molecular weight of 30,000 and an isoelectric point of 6.5-7.0, first appears within the uterine lumen soon after the arrival of the blastocyst and continues to be present during implantation; 2) the synthesis and release of the Mr 30,000 protein is dependent on progesterone regardless of the presence or absence of estradiol; and 3) the onset of secretion of the Mr 30,000 protein requires 3-4 days of continuous progesterone treatment in the estradiol-primed cat.

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