A synthetic progestin, R5020, was used to identify cytoplasmic progestin receptors in the hypothalamuspreoptic area (HPOA) of ovariectomized mice. These high-affinity receptors exhibited an apparent dissociation constant of approx. 1 nM. The receptors were specific for progestins. [3H]R5020 binding was inhibited by more than 50% with a 50-fold excess of either radioinert R5020 or progesterone. 5α-Dihydroprogesterone inhibited binding to a lesser extent. 3α-Hydroxy-5α-pregnane 20-one and cortisol did not compete for [3H]R5020 binding. Administration of estradiol benzoate (10 μg), 48 h prior to death, resulted in a 54% increase in the HPOA progestin receptor concentration when compared to oil-injected controls. These data demonstrate that there are specific and saturable cytoplasmic progestin receptors in the mouse HPOA and that the concentration of these receptors is increased after estrogen treatment.
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