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Biol Reprod. 1997 Jan;56(1):200-7.

Evidence for a local fetal influence on myometrial oxytocin receptors during pregnancy in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

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Division of Reproductive Sciences, Institute for Hormone & Fertility Research, University of Hamburg, Germany.


Mesotocin (MT), the oxytocin-like peptide of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) is important for delivery of live young. The tammar mesotocin receptor (MTR) was first characterized using the iodinated oxytocin receptor antagonist [125I]d(CH2)5 [Tyr(Me)2, Tyr4, Orn8, Tyr-NH(2)9]-vasotocin. MTR concentrations were then measured in matched samples of gravid and nongravid myometrium and median vagina at different stages of the 26-day pregnancy. MTR concentrations in both the gravid and nongravid myometrium changed significantly (ANOVA, p < 0.01) during pregnancy. There was no difference in MTR concentrations between uteri on Days 8-22. From Day 23 of pregnancy, MTR concentrations in the gravid myometrium increased (615.8 +/- 144.0 fmol/mg protein), whereas in the nongravid myometrium, they remained unchanged (248.6 +/- 65.5 fmol/mg protein). Receptor concentrations were high in the gravid myometrium during the last 3 days of pregnancy but decreased significantly in the nongravid myometrium. In the median vagina, MTR concentrations were low compared with myometrial tissues and did not increase at term. Changes in MTR concentrations paralleled changes in uterine responsiveness to exogenous MT in vitro. Our data show that MTR concentrations and the responsiveness to MT differ between the gravid and nongravid myometrium during pregnancy. The increase in MTRs in the gravid myometrium and the decrease in the nongravid suggest that different factors influence these receptors in the separate uteri, independent of systemic influence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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