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J Reprod Fertil. 1991 Mar;91(2):575-81.

Oxytocin and V1 vasopressin receptors in rabbit endometrium during pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, Italy.


Neurohypophysial hormone receptors were identified and characterized in rabbit endometrium and decidua by radioligand binding methods. The results strongly support the presence of a heterogeneity of sites in the decidua of parturient rabbits. The oxytocin site (R1) binds oxytocin and oxytocin analogues ([Thr4, Gly7]oxytocin and OTA) with high affinity, whereas the AVP site (R2) was selective for the V1 AVP analogues, [Phe2, Orn8]VT and d(CH2)5TyrMeAVP. The concentration of oxytocin receptors was low (50-100 fmol/mg protein) at oestrus (Day 0) and on Day 29 of pregnancy, but increased significantly (about 8-fold, P less than 0.05) during parturition. Conversely, V1 AVP receptors were more concentrated than the oxytocin sites at the end of pregnancy (150 fmol/mg protein) but did not change during parturition. These results indicate that neurohypophysial hormones have specific receptors not only in the myometrium but also in the uterine mucosa and we suggest that these receptors may participate in the regulation of uterine activity during pregnancy.

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