Treatment of pregnant rats with human chorionic gonadotrophin, luteotrophin (luteinizing hormone), luteotrophin-releasing hormone, prostaglandin F2α, aminoglutethimide, or by foetoplacental removal or hysterectomy achieved a common multiple-response pattern, namely increased activity of luteal 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase with decreased activity of delta5-3β-hydroxy steriod dehydrogenase and release of delta4-3-oxo steroids in vitro. 2. Similar effects of foetoplacental removal are noted in pregnant mice. 3. Gonadotrophin induced lower activities of 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase, except at the very end of pregnancy, and partly inhibited the induction caused by foetoplacental removal. 4. The results suggest that existence of a placental factor that restrains these changes until the end of normal pregnancy, which is produced in amounts proportional to the number of placentae and is conveyed to the ovary via the blood. 5. This factor was not replaced by prolactin. 6. It is argued that neither placental lactogen nor pituitary luteotrophin participate in the induction of 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase at late pregnancy in the rat. 7. Aminoglutethimide induced 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase only in late pregnancy. This was partly reversed by progesterone, wholly reversed by progesterone plus oestrogen, and did not involve the pituitary.

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