The ratio of progesterone receptor isoforms changes in the monkey corpus luteum during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle

Diane M. Duffy, Thomas R. Wells, George J. Haluska, Richard L. Stouffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that progesterone is required for ovulation, luteinization, and the maintenance of luteal structure and function in primates. Progesterone action is mediated by intracellular progesterone receptors (PRs), and PRs are detectable by immunocytochemistry in the monkey corpus luteum. However, changes in total luteal PR and PR isoform expression have not been quantitated in the corpus luteum during its life span in the menstrual cycle. This study was initiated to identify and quantify PR isoforms in the macaque corpus luteum throughout the luteal phase of the natural cycle by means of Western blotting. Several antibodies generated against the human PR recognized two bands of consistent molecular weights in monkey tissues, and these bands comigrated with PR-A and PR-B from human T47D cells. Taken together, these data suggest that the two proteins identified were macaque PR-A and PR-B. The estimated molecular weights of monkey PR-A and PR-B were approximately 90 000 and 120 000, respectively. PRs were detected in a variety of macaque tissues, including the endometrium, whole ovary, and decidua, but not in spleen, which is PR-negative by other techniques. Whereas PR-A was the predominant isoform observed in endometrium and decidua, PR-B predominated in the ovary without a dominant follicle or corpus luteum as well as in the corpus luteum. In luteal tissue, PR-A levels decreased (p < 0.05) over the course of the luteal phase, while PR-B levels were unchanged. Hence the ratio of PR-B to PR-A (PR-B:PR-A) increased (p < 0.05) from early to very late luteal phase. Since PR-B:PR-A can alter gene expression in response to progestins and antiprogestins in vitro, the temporal changes in PR-B:PR-A in the monkey corpus luteum may contribute to functional differences in luteal responses to progesterone and other steroids in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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