In vitro evaluation of corpus luteum function of cycling and pregnant rhesus monkeys: progesterone production by dispersed luteal cells

Richard L. Stouffer, Wilbert E. Nixon, Bela J. Gulyas, David K. Johnson, Gary D. Hodgen

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    22 Scopus citations


    Corpus luteum function in the cycling and the pregnant rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) was evaluated through short term in vitro studies of progesterone production by suspensions of collagenase dispersed luteal cells in the presence and absence of exogenous gonadotropin (human chorionic gonadotropin, HCG). Cells from mid luteal phase of the menstrual cycle secreted progesterone, as measured by accumulation of this hormone in the incubation medium, and responded to the addition of 100 ng HCG/ml with a marked increase in progesterone secretion above basal level (63.7 ± 13.1 versus 24.7 ± 5.5 ng progesterone/ml/5 x 104 cells/3 hr, X ± S.E., n=6; p < 0.05). However, luteal cells from early pregnancy (23-26 days after fertilization) secreted significantly less progesterone than cells of the non fertile menstrual cycle (3.6 ± 2.4 versus 24.7 ± 5.5 ng/ml/5 x 104 cells/3 hr, n=3; p < 0.05) and did not respond to HCG with enhanced secretion. By mid pregnancy (108-118 days gestation) luteal cells exhibited partially renewed function, and near the time of parturition (163-166 days gestation) basal and HCG stimulated progesterone secretion (30.2 ± 5.6 and 63.0 ± 13.0 ng/ml/5 x 104 cells/3 hr, respectively; n=3) was equivalent to that of cells from the luteal phase of the non fertile menstrual cycle. The data suggest that following a period around the fourth week of gestation, when steroidogenic activity is markedly diminished, the corpus luteum of pregnancy progressively reacquires its functional capacity and at term exhibits gonadotropin sensitive steroidogenesis similar to that of the corpus luteum of the menstrual cycle.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)543-551
    Number of pages9
    JournalUnknown Journal
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1976


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Endocrinology
    • Pharmacology
    • Clinical Biochemistry
    • Organic Chemistry

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