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Steroids. 1982 Sep;40(3):287-306.

Metabolism and conjugation of [4-14C]progesterone by bovine liver and adipose tissues, in vitro.


The ability of bovine liver and fat to metabolize progesterone and also to form glucuronide conjugates with these progestins in vitro was investigated. Tissue supernatants were incubated with [4-14C] progesterone, UDP-glucuronic acid, and a NADPH generating system for 5 hr, at 37 degrees C. Steroids were identified by thin-layer chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, and recrystallization to a constant specific activity. The total original radioactivity which could not be removed by exhaustive ether extraction (presumptive conjugates) was 44.7 +/- 14.2% in liver, 5.0 +/- 3.6% in subcutaneous fat, and 3.7 +/- 2.2% in kidney fat samples. Progestins identified in liver samples include 5 beta-pregnane-3 alpha, 20 alpha-diol (free and conjugate), 5 beta-pregnane-3 alpha, 20 beta-diol (free and conjugate), 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 beta-pregnan-20-one (free and conjugate), 3 beta-hydroxy-5 beta-pregnan-20-one (free), 5 beta-pregnane-3,20-dione (free), and progesterone (conjugate). Progestins identified in both the free and conjugate fractions of subcutaneous fat and kidney fat samples include progesterone, 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 beta-pregnan-20-one, 20 beta-hydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one, and 20 alpha-hydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one. Differences due to sex of bovine used were noted. These results confirm the ability of bovine liver to readily metabolize progesterone and form glucuronide conjugates of these compounds and suggest that adipose tissues take an active role in these actions in cattle.

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