In the present study we investigated the role of angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor subtypes in gonadotropin-induced ovulation, oocyte maturation, and ovarian steroidogenesis and prostaglandin (PG) production in in vitro- perfused rabbit ovaries. The addition to the perfusate of PD123319, a nonpeptide Ang II antagonist with a high affinity for AT2 receptors, inhibited hCG-induced ovulation in a dose-dependent manner, whereas CV- 11974, a nonpeptide AT, receptor antagonist, had no effect. The majority of ovulated ova and follicular oocytes resumed meiotic maturation in response to hCG; and PD123319, but not CV-11974, significantly inhibited hCG-induced oocyte maturation. The addition of both Ang II receptor antagonists to the perfusate had no significant effect on the concentration of progesterone in the perfusate of hCG-treated ovaries, whereas PD123319 inhibited the hCG- stimulated production of estradiol. The production of PGE2 and PGF(2α) was significantly increased at 6 h in hCG-treated ovaries compared with ovaries before hCG administration. PD123319 inhibited the hCG-stimulated production of PGs by perfused rabbit ovaries in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that hCG-induced PG synthesis is mediated, at least in part, via the activation of AT2 receptors. Ovulatory efficiency in ovaries perfused with or without PD123319 in the presence of hCG was significantly correlated with PG production by perfused rabbit ovaries 12 h after exposure to hCG (r = 0.6553 for PGE2, p < 0.001; r = 0.4758 for PGF(zα), p < 0.05). In conclusion, Ang II exerts complex and coordinated control on at least two distinct aspects in the normal ovulatory process, ovulation and oocyte maturation. Ang II produced locally by gonadotropin exposure may be a part of a novel intraovarian paracrine or autocrine control mechanism that operates via the AT2 receptor in the ovary.
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