Effects of steroid ablation and progestin replacement on the transcriptome of the primate corpus luteum during simulated early pregnancy

C. V. Bishop, R. A. Aazzerah, L. M. Quennoz, J. D. Hennebold, R. L. Stouffer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Previous microarray analyses indicated that a portion of the transcriptome in the macaque corpus luteum (CL) of the menstrual cycle was regulated indirectly by luteinizing hormone via the local actions of steroid hormones, notably progesterone (P). The current study was designed to investigate this concept in the CL of early pregnancy by analyzing chorionic gonadotrophin (CG)-regulated genes that are dependent versus independent of local steroid action. Exogenous human chorionic gonadotropin treatment simulating early pregnancy (SEP) began on Day 9 of the luteal phase in female rhesus monkeys with and without concurrent administration of the 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor trilostane (TRL) with or without the synthetic progestin R5020. Compared with SEP treatment alone, TRL altered 50 mRNA transcripts on Day 10, rising to 95 on Day 15 (P < 0.05, ≥2-fold change in gene expression). Steroid-sensitive genes were validated; notably effects of steroid ablation and P replacement varied by day. Expression of some genes previously identified as P-regulated in the macaque CL during the menstrual cycle were not significantly altered by steroid ablation and P replacement during CG exposure in SEP. These data indicate that the majority of CG-regulated luteal transcripts are differentially expressed independently of local steroid actions. However, the steroid-regulated genes in the macaque CL may be essential during early pregnancy, based on previous reports that TRL treatment initiates premature structural regression of the CL during SEP. These data reinforce the concept that the structure, function and regulation of the rescued CL in early pregnancy differs from the CL of the menstrual cycle in primates.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbergat079
    Pages (from-to)222-234
    Number of pages13
    JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2014


    • Chorionic gonadotrophin
    • Corpus luteum
    • Early pregnancy
    • Microarray
    • Steroids

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Embryology
    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology


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