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J Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;215(1):151-65. doi: 10.1530/JOE-11-0486. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Expression of LH receptor in nonpregnant mouse endometrium: LH induction of 3β-HSD and de novo synthesis of progesterone.

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Endocrinology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, West Bengal, India.


In mouse uterus, at the late diestrus stage LH binding sites have previously been described. The aim of our study was to confirm the existence of LH receptor (Lhr (Lhcgr)) mRNA and its protein in mouse endometrium. Endometrium at all stages of the estrous cycle contained Lhr mRNA, essentially identical to that found in mouse ovary. Endometrium also contained a 72  kDa immunoreactive receptor protein that bound to mouse anti-LHR antibody in western blot. Both receptor mRNA and protein were maximally expressed in the endometrium at metestrus and LH caused a significant increase in their expression levels. Endometrium also contained 3β-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase (3β-hsd) mRNA and 3β-HSD protein. LH addition elevated their expression and activity as evident from increased conversion of labeled pregnenolone to progesterone (P(4)) and de novo P(4) synthesis. LH-induced endometrial P(4) synthesis is mediated through expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory (Star) gene. Results demonstrated that LH-induced P(4) synthesis in endometrium is possibly mediated through the cAMP pathway. Involvement of a MAPK pathway was also evident. Gonadotropin-stimulated endometrial P(4) synthesis was markedly attenuated by an antagonist of MEK1/2, PD98059. LH-stimulated MEK1/2-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in a concentration- and time-dependant manner in cultured endometrial tissues. Moreover, involvement of cAMP in LH-stimulated activation of ERK1/2 was also evident. It is therefore possible that the major signaling pathways regulating endometrial steroidogenesis in mouse, including the adenylate cyclase and MAP kinase pathways, converge at a point distal to activation of protein kinase A and ERK1/2.

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