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Am J Primatol. 2003 Nov;61(3):111-21.

Contribution of ovarian steroid production to urinary estrone conjugate concentrations in Macaca mulatta.

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Center for Health and the Environment, University of California-Davis, Davis, California 95616-8615, USA.


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that basal estrone conjugate (E1C) profiles do not accurately detect ovarian function when ovarian estrogen production is low or absent. We employed surgical removal of active ovaries from laboratory rhesus macaques to simulate an acute decline in ovarian estrogen production. In the first experiment, urine samples collected prior to and following ovariectomy (Ovx) were subjected to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation. Eluates were then assayed for E1C immunoreactive components. The results indicated a modest decrease in total immunoreactive polar conjugates following ovariectomy, with no substantial change in the overall retention profile. In the second experiment, estradiol (E2) cypionate injections were used to replace the E2 component of ovarian estrogen production in the treated (Tx) group, while the control group (C) received only vehicle. Urine samples were hydrolyzed and individual estrogens were separated by celite chromatography prior to immuno-assay. Both the Tx and C groups exhibited similar urinary excretion levels of estrone (E1), E2, and E1C prior to Ovx (Pre-Ovx) and after Ovx (Post-Ovx), but there were significant differences between groups after treatment (Post-Tx). Significant differences were observed in the Tx group's excretion of E1, E2, and E1C in the Pre- vs. Post-Ovx samples and in the Post-Ovx and Post-Tx samples. The C group also showed the expected significant differences in the Pre- vs. Post-Ovx samples, as well as in the Pre-Ovx and Post-Tx samples. The results indicate that the use of E1C measurements is clearly a suitable method for monitoring ovarian function in intact, cycling animals, but urinary E2 measurements are required to verify loss of follicular activity.

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