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Steroid metabolism by the bovine uterine endometrium and conceptus

, : Steroid metabolism by the bovine uterine endometrium and conceptus. Biology of Reproduction 28(4): 804-816

A comparison was undertaken of the in vitro ability of 2 uterine-specific tissues, namely, endometrium and conceptus, to metabolize neutral steroids. Tissues were obtained at slaughter from 55 cows on days (D) 16, 19, 23 and 27 postbreeding. D16 and D19 uteri which did not contain any products of conception were designated nonpregnant (NP); those bearing membranes, pregnant (P). Endometrial (500 mg) and conceptus (intact or halved) tissues (227) were incubated in minimal essential media (MEM) with 10 ng isotopically labeled progesterone (P4) or androstenedione (A). Extent of metabolism and qualitative appraisal of steroid metabolites were determined after extraction and separation through chromatographic columns before and after chemical conversion procedures. Identification and quantification of metabolites were verified by recrystallization to constant specific activity with authentic radioinert parent compounds. Both substrates were metabolized extensively by tissues, with more metabolism occurring in 3 than in 1 h (P < 0.001). Endometrial tissue metabolized similar amounts of P4/mg tissue on D16 and D19 irrespective of reproductive status (P vs. NP) or the location of tissue within the uterus. However, D27 endometrial tissue metabolized more P4 (P < 0.01) than that from D16 or D19 (59.1 .+-. 2.6% vs. 44.0 .+-. 2.3%) of pregnancy. Major metabolites produced by endometrial tissue were hydroxylated 5.alpha.-reduced steroids, most notably 5.alpha.-pregnane-3.xi.,20.xi.-diol from P4 and 5.alpha.-androstane-3.xi.,17.xi.-diol from A. In contrast, conceptus tissue metabolized substrates extensively to 5.beta.-reduced steroids. Identified were 3.alpha.-hydroxy-5.beta.-pregnan-20-one and 5.beta.-pregnane-3.alpha.,20.alpha.-diol from P4 and 3.alpha.-hydroxy-5.beta.-androstan-17-one and 5.beta.-androstane-3.alpha.,17.alpha.-diol from A. In addition, metabolism of A but not P4 resulted in production of small quantities (< 200 pg) of estrone and estradiol-17.beta. The implications of the differential types of metabolites and extents of metabolism of P4 and A are discussed in relation to reproductive status of the cow.


PMID: 6860739

DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod28.4.804

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