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

Stimulation of progesterone secretion in dispersed cells of rat corpora lutea by antioxidants.

Antioxidants were used to investigate the role of free radicals in control of luteal steroidogenesis. Corpora lutea from pseudopregnant rats were enzymatically dispersed, the cells were incubated with antioxidants, and progesterone production was measured. Addition of the antioxidants nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and the gonadotropin luteinizing hormone (LH) resulted in a dose-dependent increase in progesterone secretion. However, the response pattern to these treatments differed with the age of the corpora lutea, and unlike LH neither NDGA nor BHT treatment resulted in an increase in the intracellular second messenger cAMP. Nevertheless, LH and antioxidant-induced progesterone stimulation could be blocked by the addition of either aminoglutethimide or ketoconazole, cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (cytochrome P450 SCC) enzyme inhibitors, which prevent the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone and thus block steroid hormone synthesis. Also, unlike exposure to LH, exposure to antioxidants resulted in an additional increase in progesterone production in luteal tissue saturated with 25 hydroxycholesterol, a soluble cholesterol analog which serves as a substrate for cytochrome P450 SCC. This study suggests that the site of antioxidant action in affecting progesterone secretion may be at the cytochrome P450 SCC enzyme. Based on these results and on studies in other steroid hormone-producing cells, it appears that free radicals may be involved in regulating synthesis by modulating activity of cytochrome P450 SCC enzyme in rat luteal tissue.[1]


  1. Stimulation of progesterone secretion in dispersed cells of rat corpora lutea by antioxidants. Carlson, J.C., Sawada, M., Boone, D.L., Stauffer, J.M. Steroids (1995) [Pubmed]
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