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Gynecol Endocrinol. 1998 Feb;12(1):29-34.

Effects of estradiol and an aromatase inhibitor on progesterone production in human cultured luteal cells.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, Japan.


The human corpus luteum produces both estradiol and progesterone. It is well known that there are both autocrine and paracrine systems for the regulation of the corpus luteum and that estradiol regulates the progesterone production of the corpora lutea of some other species. To assess the direct effects of estrogen on human luteal function, we performed cell culture experiments. A low concentration of estradiol, almost equal to the amount of estradiol produced by human cultured luteal cells, directly stimulated progesterone production. 4-Cyclohexylaniline, an aromatase inhibitor, significantly reduced both progesterone production and estradiol production. Levels of estradiol higher than the levels that cultured human luteal cells themselves produced significantly reduced basal progesterone production and also significantly reduced human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), forskolin and dibutyryl-cyclic AMP-stimulated progesterone production. According to these data, high doses of estradiol produced a luteolytic action which widely inhibited the steroidogenesis process. In conclusion, our results indicated that estradiol in part regulates progesterone production physiologically and blocks progesterone production in a pharmacological or pathological state in the human corpus luteum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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