Midcycle administration of a progesterone synthesis inhibitor prevents ovulation in primates

Milo L. Hibbert, Richard L. Stouffer, Don P. Wolf, Mary B. Zelinski-Wooten

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126 Scopus citations


Progesterone receptors appear in granulosa cells of preovulatory follicles after the midcycle gonadotropin surge, suggesting important local actions of progesterone during ovulation in primates. Steroid reduction and replacement during the gonadotropin surge in macaques was used to evaluate the rule of progesterone in the ovulatory process. Animals received gonadotropins to induce development of multiple preovulatory follicles, followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (day 0) to promote oocyte (nuclear) maturation, ovulation, and follicular luteinization. On days 0-2, animals received no further treatment; a steroid synthesis inhibitor, trilostane (TRL); TRL + R5020; or TRL + dihydrotestosterone propionate (DHT). On day 3, ovulation was confirmed by counting ovulation sites and collecting oviductal oocytes. The meiotic status of oviductal and remaining follicular oocytes was evaluated. Peak serum estradiol levels, the total number of large follicles, and baseline serum progesterone levels at the time of hCG administration were similar in all animals. Ovulation sites and oviductal oocytes were routinely observed in controls. Ovulation was abolished in TRL. Progestin, but nut androgen, replacement restored ovulation. Relative to controls, progesterone production was impaired for the first 6 days post-hCG in TRL, TRL + R5020, and TRL + DHT. Thereafter, progesterone remained low in TRL but recovered to control levels with progestin and androgen replacement. Similar percentages of mature (metaphase II) oocytes were collected among groups. Thus, steroid reduction during the gonadotropin surge inhibited ovulation and luteinization, but not reinitiation of oocyte meiotic maturation, in the primate follicle. The data are consistent with a local receptor-mediated role for progesterone in the ovulatory process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1901
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 5 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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