Nafoxidine hydrochloride (Upjohn, 11100A)injected with oestradiol into immature chicks inhibits the hormone-induced increase in [3H]oestradiol-binding activity in salt extracts of liver nuclei as well as the subsequent production by liver of egg-yolk phosphoprotein. Substantial inhibition of both oestradiol-induced responses is seen when nafoxidine is given in a dose approximately equimolar with that of oestradiol. In vitro nafoxidine competitively inhibits binding of [3H]oestradiol in nuclear extracts. The Ki for the inhibition is 43 nM, which indicates an affinity of nafoxidine for the binding protein about 4% of that of oestradiol. The inhibitory action of nafoxidine in vivo thus is more potent than the relative binding affinity determined in vitro might indicate. One possible explanation is that the primary site of nafoxidine action is at a point proximal to nuclear receptor interaction. Nafoxidine injected alone into the chick does not induce phosphoprotein synthesis, but it does increase [3H]oestradiol-binding activity in extracts of liver nuclei to a limited extent. No differences in the properties of the oestradiol-binding activity in extracts from nafoxidine-treated chicks or from oestradiol-treated chicks were detected. Chick liver cytosol does not contain detectable high-affinity oestradiol-binding activity. A low-affinity oestradiol-binding component with a sedimentation coefficient of 3.5S was found, but it was unaffected by treatment of chicks with earlier nafoxidine or oestradiol. The results suggest a difference in the mechanism of oestradiol action in the chick liver and in the widely studied rat uterus, on which the usual model for oestradiol action is largely based.

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