The relationship between progesterone and prostaglandin (PG) secretion in the pseudopregnant rabbit corpus luteum was investigated using isolated in vitro perfused ovaries. Progesterone and PG secretion were measured on days 1, 11, and 18 of hCG-induced pseudopregnancy. the mean progesterone secretion increased significantly from days 1 to 11, and then decreased significantly by day 18. PG secretion was inversely correlated with progesterone secretion, suggesting that PG might inhibit progesterone secretion. To test this hypothesis, indomethacin, an inhibitor of PG secretion, was administered to intact rabbits from days 11-18 of pseudopregnancy and/or on day 18 ovaries were perfused in vitro with indomethacin. Indomethacin administered in vivo, in vitro, or both in vivo and in vitro significantly reduced PG secretion compared to that in controls, but did not affect progesterone secretion. In addition, perfusion of ovaries in vitro with PGF2α did not alter progesterone secretion on either day 11 or day 18. Thus, although there is an inverse relationship between progesterone and PG secretion during pseudopregnancy, PGF2α alone had no effect on progesterone secretion. These results question the hypothesis that PGF2α alone is the luteolytic factor.
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