Progesterone downregulates progesterone receptor, but not estrogen receptor, in the estrogen-primed oviduct of a turtle (Trachemys scripta)

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Selcer, Kyle W.
Leavitt, Wendell W.

General and comparative endocrinology. 1991 Aug; 83(2): 316-23.


Progesterone downregulates nuclear progesterone receptor (Rp) and estrogen receptor (Re) in the estrogen-primed mammalian uterus and chick oviduct. We sought to determine if this downregulation mechanism is operative in the turtle oviduct. Female turtles were primed for 4 days with 17-beta-estradiol, after which progesterone (5 mg) was administered by injection every 24 h. Re and Rp levels in progesterone-treated and control turtle oviducts were measured by [3H]steroid-binding assays (pyridoxal 5' phosphate method) at 12, 24, 48 and 72 hr after initial progesterone treatment. Serum progesterone levels of progesterone-treated turtles increased only slightly from 0 hr (0.3 ng/ml) to 12 hr (0.6 ng/ml) after progesterone administration, increased considerably by 24 hr (5.3 ng/ml), and remained elevated (6-8 ng/ml) through 72 hr. Cytosol and nuclear Rp levels of estrogen-primed turtle oviducts showed distinct seasonal variation, with Rp levels higher in spring and summer months than in winter months. There was no seasonal variation in Re levels. Both cytosol and nuclear Rp responded to progesterone treatment. Cytosol Rp levels of progesterone-treated oviducts were significantly reduced below control levels by 12 hr after progesterone administration and remained low through 72 hr. Nuclear Rp levels of progesterone-treated oviducts showed no change at 12 hr, increased at 24 hr and then dropped at 48 and 72 hr. However, progesterone did not downregulate Re in the turtle oviduct.

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