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Hum Reprod. 1998 Apr;13(4):1047-56.

Effects of luteal phase administration of mifepristone (RU486) and prostaglandin analogue or inhibitor on endometrium in the rhesus monkey.

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Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


Early luteal phase administration of a potent anti-progestin like mifepristone (RU486) inhibits blastocyst implantation and the establishment of pregnancy without marked changes in menstrual cyclicity and ovarian steroid hormone profiles; however, the underlying mechanism is not very clear. In the present study, a hypothesis that prostaglandins (PG) are involved in the anti-gestatory action of luteal phase mifepristone was tested. Endometrial changes in rhesus monkeys were examined following luteal phase administration of mifepristone, a prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor (diclofenac) and a prostaglandin analogue (misoprostol) either alone or in combination. Twenty-five monkeys were randomly assigned to six groups: group 1 (n = 4), normal control group; group 2 (n = 4), mifepristone (2 mg, daily, s.c.) treated group; group 3 (n = 4), diclofenac (25 mg, daily, i.m.) treated group; group 4 (n = 4), misoprostol (100 microg, daily, oral) treated group; group 5 (n = 5), mifepristone and diclofenac (same dosages as for groups 2 and 3) treated group; group 6 (n = 4), mifepristone and misoprostol (same dosages as for groups 2 and 4) treated group. All treatments were given to monkeys on days 16-18 of mated cycles and endometrial tissue samples were collected on day 20. With diclofenac alone (group 3), marginal changes were observed in glandular, stromal and vascular compartments, and there were few apoptotic bodies in gland cells; partial inhibition and delay in implantation was earlier reported. Significantly higher oestrogen receptor expression in glandular epithelial cells as compared with all other treatment groups was found after treatment with misoprostol alone (group 4) and was associated with normal fecundity. The anti-nidatory action of luteal phase antiprogestin treatment alone or in combination with diclofenac or misoprostol was associated with altered endometrial histometric features characterized by glandular apoptosis, regression in secretory functions, decreased oedema, extravasation and a higher degree of stromal leukocytic infiltration. In these three groups (groups 2, 5 and 6) receptors for oestrogen and progesterone receptors were significantly higher in stromal cells, and lower in vascular cells, while glandular cells showed significantly higher progesterone receptors compared with the control group. The anti-nidatory activity of mifepristone and associated endometrial changes could not be accentuated or attenuated with co-administration of PGE or diclofenac, nor could these be mimicked by these agents alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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