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J Reprod Fertil. 2000 May;119(1):121-8.

Progesterone and oestrogen receptors in the female genital tract throughout pregnancy in tammar wallabies.

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Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The tammar, Macropus eugenii, is a monovular macropodid marsupial which has a post-partum oestrus and an 11 month embryonic diapause. Progesterone and oestradiol cytosol receptors were measured by Scatchard analyses and single point analysis in the lateral vagina, endometrium and myometrium of the gravid and contralateral non-gravid uterus throughout pregnancy, immediately after parturition and during seasonal reproductive quiescence. In endometrial tissues, both progesterone and oestradiol receptors doubled in concentration in both gravid and non-gravid uteri between day 0 and day 5 of pregnancy, coinciding with previously described peak values in peripheral plasma progesterone and oestrogen. Receptor concentrations in endometrial tissue during seasonal quiescence were not significantly different from those immediately after reactivation. After day 12 of pregnancy, downregulation of both progesterone and oestradiol cytosolic receptors occurred concomitant with the increase in progesterone in the peripheral plasma. However, there was a unilateral increase in oestradiol receptor concentrations in endometrium obtained from the non-gravid uterus between day 25 of the 26.5 day gestation and immediately after parturition. Myometrial receptor concentrations mirrored those of the endometrium but were lower. Concentrations of progesterone receptor in the lateral vaginae were at the lower limit of detection, while the oestradiol cytosol receptor concentrations were even lower in this tissue. Thus, the steroid receptor concentrations provide another example of local unilateral endocrine responses in the reproductive tract of the tammar. These results also indicate that the downregulation of progesterone and oestradiol receptors that occurs in both uteri in mid- and late-pregnancy is selectively and locally reversed before parturition in the non-gravid endometrium in response to the local effects of follicular oestradiol from the ipsilateral ovary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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