Isolation and characterization of cell subpopulations from the monkey corpus luteum of the menstrual cycle.

S. A. Hild-Petito, S. M. Shiigi, R. L. Stouffer

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43 Scopus citations


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the corpus luteum of primate species consists of cell subpopulations that differ in physical characteristics, function, and regulation by endocrine and paracrine factors. The corpus luteum (n = 25) was removed from rhesus monkeys at the mid-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (Days 7-8 after the surge of luteinizing hormone, LH) and enzymatically dispersed. Freshly dispersed cells were analyzed and sorted on the basis of their forward and 90 degrees light scatter (FLS and 90LS, respectively) properties using an EPICS C flow cytometer. Freshly dispersed and sorted cells were fixed, stained histochemically for the presence of 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD), and measured to determine their diameters. Freshly dispersed (MIX) and sorted cells from corpora lutea during the early (Days 4-5 after the LH surge; n = 4) and mid-luteal phases of the cycle were incubated in vitro and steroid production was assessed. The size distribution of dispersed cells revealed four peaks that corresponded to small (10-15 microns in diameter) 3 beta-HSD-negative, and small, medium (16-20 microns), and large (greater than 20 microns) 3 beta-HSD-positive cells. Analysis of dispersed cells for FLS and 90LS demonstrated two continua (C alpha and C beta). C alpha contained single cells and cell clusters; 99.7 +/- 0.3% (n = 3) of the cells were less than or equal to 15 microns in diameter and 96.7 +/- 0.3% were 3 beta-HSD-negative. C alpha cells produced low levels of progesterone (0.2 +/- 0.1 ng/ml per 5 x 10(4) cells; n = 3) in vitro under basal conditions. C beta consisted of single cells from 10 microns to 40 microns in diameter and contained the lipid-filled and 3 beta-HSD-positive cells. Two regions (R1 and R3) of C beta were defined and their cells separated. In R1, 96 +/- 2% (n = 3) of the cells had diameters of less than or equal to 15 microns, whereas 82 +/- 4% (n = 3) of those in R3 were greater than or equal to 20 microns. Basal progesterone production by R3 cells from early luteal phase of the cycle was 12 times greater than that by R1 cells (n = 3 per group).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1085
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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