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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 1992 Aug;87(2):178-82.

Plasma progesterone levels in the pregnant female rat-kangaroo (Bettongia gaimardi).

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Zoology Department, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.


Plasma progesterone levels were measured in female bettongs (small macropodid marsupials) under two natural regimes: (1) during "delayed" gestation (initiated by removal of pouch young, RPY) and (2) during the pregnancy prior to pouch vacation when a young still occupies the pouch (i.e., during lactation). Basal levels of progesterone were 0.15-0.5 ng/ml. There was a transient peak of progesterone (0.7 ng/ml) early in gestation at Day 4 RPY. After Day 6 RPY, progesterone levels remained elevated (1.2-1.5 ng/ml) until they dropped sharply to basal levels on the day of birth. This pattern of progesterone secretion during delayed gestation is similar to that seen in other marsupials, such as the tammar wallaby. There was no significant difference between the progesterone profiles of the two experimental groups. We deduce, then, that lactation had no effect on corpus luteum function (as assessed by plasma progesterone levels) in the pregnant bettong.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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