Earlier studies have demonstrated that phenol UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) activity is up-regulated by pregnant mare's serum gonadotropin (PMSG) in rat ovary, but not liver. This phenomenon was investigated in more detail in the present study. Ovaries and livers of immature rats, rats synchronized with respect to their preovulatory and corpus lutealphases by treatment with PMSG, and mature rats hyperstimulated with PMSG were compared. Under all of these conditions, only one immunoreactive band of UGT, shown to be phenol UGT, was detected in the rat ovary. The effects of oestradiol, progesterone and/or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on the level of phenol UGT in immature rat ovary were also examined. Partial up-regulation was caused by progesterone or oestradiol, together with hCG, whereas progesterone or oestradiol alone had no up-regulating effect. Follicle-stimulating hormone also seemed to be required for the up-regulation in ovaries enriched in corpus luteum. The present findings demonstrate that progesterone is involved in the regulation of phenol UGT in rat ovary by gonadotropins. Regulation by both progesterone and oestradiol was dependent on induction of ovulation and steroidogenesis by luteinizing hormone.

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