Effects of luteinizing hormone and growth hormone on luteal development in hypophysectomized ewes
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To test the hypothesis that growth hormone (GH) as well as luteinizing hormone (LH) is required for normal luteal growth and function, 16 western range ewes were hypophysectomized (HPX) on day 5 of the estrous cycle. Ewes were randomly assigned to receive saline (S), LH, GH, or LH + GH (n=4 per group) from the time of HPX until collection of corpora lutea 7 days after HPX (day 12). Corpora lutea were also collected from pituitary-intact ewes on days 5 (day 5 control,n=4) and 12 (day 12 control,n=4) of the estrous cycle. To assess luteal function, concentrations of progesterone in sera, luteal weights and luteal concentrations of mRNA encoding cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5,Δ4 isomerase (3β-HSD) were determined. Concentrations of progesterone in sera and luteal weights increased between days 5 and 12 of the estrous cycle in control ewes, but not in HPX + S ewes. In HPX ewes treated with LH, concentrations of progesterone in sera and luteal mRNA for P450scc and 3β-HSD increased but luteal weights were unaffected. Treatment with GH increased luteal weight and luteal concentrations of mRNA encoding P450scc but did not increase concentrations of mRNA encoding 3β-HSD compared to HPX + S ewes. Concentrations of progesterone in sera of GH-treated, HPX ewes were similar to those of day 12 control ewes but not significantly different from those in HPX + S ewes. Treatment of HPX ewes with LH + GH increased all parameters of luteal function measured to values similar to those in day 12 controls. In conclusion, both GH and LH are necessary for normal luteal development in the ewe.
KeywordsLuteal development growth hormone luteinizing hormone sheep
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