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Glucocorticoid receptors in epithelial cells isolated from the mammary glands of pregnant and lactating rats

, : Glucocorticoid receptors in epithelial cells isolated from the mammary glands of pregnant and lactating rats. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 25(2): 227-241

We have isolated epithelial cell clusters from mammary glands of pregnant and lactating rats by collagenase-hyaluronidase-deoxyribonuclease digestion, followed by Ficoll density-gradient centrifugation. Clusters of greater than 90% viable cells were identified by light microscopy as essentially devoid of other cell types; the integrity of their subcellular organelles verified by electron microscopy. Binding characteristics of the synthetic glucocorticoid [3H]dexamethasone were studied in cytosols prepared from isolated cell clusters. Cytosols from both pregnant and lactating rats bound [3H]dexamethasone with high affinity to a single class of low capacity binding sites. In both types of cytosol the dissociation constant (Kd 4 degrees C approximately/nM) of the binding was similar; the number of sites per cell in lactating rats was approximately double that in pregnant rats. The specificity of binding was typical of a classical glucocorticoid receptor, with a hierarchy of affinity by competition studies dexamethasone greater than progesterone greater than aldosterone much much greater than testosterone = estradiol. In particular, no difference in progesterone affinity for these glucocorticoid receptors was seen between pregnancy and lactation. This suggests that reported differences in inhibitory action of progesterone, pregnancy versus post-partum, are not glucocorticoid-receptor mediated.


PMID: 7056435

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