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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibitors of lipoxygenase increase the ovulation rate in the in-vitro perfused luteinizing hormone-stimulated rabbit ovary.

In order to determine whether leukotrienes, products of the lipoxygenase pathway, are involved in ovulation, pairs of rabbit ovaries were treated with the lipoxygenase inhibitors nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) and caffeic acid (CA) while being perfused in vitro. The control ovaries from each rabbit received luteinizing hormone (LH) (1.5-2.25 micrograms ml-1) while the contralateral ovaries were treated with LH + NDGA (100 microM) or LH + CA (100 microM). The numbers of ovulations from both the LH + NDGA- and LH + CA-treated ovaries were significantly higher (P less than 0.05) than from their respective LH-stimulated controls. Treatment with NDGA alone in the perfusate did not cause any ovulation, while CA alone caused one ovulation from one of six ovaries perfused. Ovarian tissue levels of prostaglandins after 7 h of perfusion with LH + NDGA or with LH alone showed that, in five of the six ovaries perfused in this group, the tissue levels of PGE2, 6-keto-PGF1 alpha and PGF2 alpha were higher in the presence of NDGA. The mean differences were significant (P less than 0.05) for prostacyclin but not significant (P greater than 0.05) for PGE2 and PGF2 alpha. Our interpretation of the findings is that, when used for blocking the lipoxygenase pathway, NDGA and CA increase the substrate availability for the cyclo-oxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism, resulting in a net increase in prostaglandins. The increased ovarian levels of prostaglandins, especially prostacyclin, may cause the observed increase in ovulation rate. Consequently, although the leukotrienes may be involved in the mechanism of ovulation in the rabbit, their effects appear to be less pronounced than those of prostaglandins.[1]


  1. Inhibitors of lipoxygenase increase the ovulation rate in the in-vitro perfused luteinizing hormone-stimulated rabbit ovary. Hellberg, P., Holmes, P.V., Brännström, M., Olofsson, J., Janson, P.O. Acta Physiol. Scand. (1990) [Pubmed]
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