Genetic, Biochemical, and Hormonal Mechanisms in the Regulation of Uterine Metabolism

  • Kenneth W. McKerns


The uterus is an organ markedly and dramatically influenced by hormones. The most obvious hormonally induced changes are those caused by estrogens and progesterones. Among the most striking are the changes that occur in the uterus at the time of puberty as a result of the increasing effect of the steroid hormones of the ovary. In addition, every normal adult woman experiences cyclic changes, especially in the stimulation of the growth of the endometrium and, to some extent, of the myometrium, followed by shedding of the endometrium down to the basal layer if pregnancy has not occurred. Additional uterine growth occurs during pregnancy, partly because of an increasing production of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones. The final stages in the life of the uterus are the regressive changes that occur after the menopause with the decline of ovarian function. These physiological effects have been known for years to be induced by the steroid hormones of the ovary. This chapter concerns the newer concepts of how these changes are regulated by estradiol at the cellular level. By what possible mechanisms could this relatively simple steroid hormone so markedly influence growth and function of the uterus?


Pentose Phosphate Pathway Corpus Luteum Pentose Phosphate Adrenal Cortex Citric Acid Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth W. McKerns
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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