Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human: The beta subunit of human CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Its structure is similar to the beta subunit of LUTEINIZING HORMONE, except for the additional 30 amino acids at the carboxy end with the associated carbohydrate residues. HCG-beta is used as a diagnostic marker for early detection of pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (ABORTION, SPONTANEOUS); ECTOPIC PREGNANCY; HYDATIDIFORM MOLE; CHORIOCARCINOMA; or DOWN SYNDROME.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Receptors, LH: Those protein complexes or molecular sites on the surfaces and cytoplasm of gonadal cells that bind luteinizing or chorionic gonadotropic hormones and thereby cause the gonadal cells to synthesize and secrete sex steroids. The hormone-receptor complex is internalized from the plasma membrane and initiates steroid synthesis.Gonadotropins, Equine: Gonadotropins secreted by the pituitary or the placenta in horses. This term generally refers to the gonadotropins found in the pregnant mare serum, a rich source of equine CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. Unlike that in humans, the equine LUTEINIZING HORMONE, BETA SUBUNIT is identical to the equine choronic gonadotropin, beta. Equine gonadotropins prepared from pregnant mare serum are used in reproductive studies.Receptors, Gonadotropin: Those protein complexes or molecular sites on the surfaces of gonadal and other sensitive cells that bind gonadotropins and thereby modify the functions of those cells; hCG, LH, and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE are the major specific gonadotropins.Choriocarcinoma: A malignant metastatic form of trophoblastic tumors. Unlike the HYDATIDIFORM MOLE, choriocarcinoma contains no CHORIONIC VILLI but rather sheets of undifferentiated cytotrophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts (TROPHOBLASTS). It is characterized by the large amounts of CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN produced. Tissue origins can be determined by DNA analyses: placental (fetal) origin or non-placental origin (CHORIOCARCINOMA, NON-GESTATIONAL).Glycoprotein Hormones, alpha Subunit: The alpha chain of pituitary glycoprotein hormones (THYROTROPIN; FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE; LUTEINIZING HORMONE) and the placental CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Within a species, the alpha subunits of these four hormones are identical; the distinct functional characteristics of these glycoprotein hormones are determined by the unique beta subunits. Both subunits, the non-covalently bound heterodimers, are required for full biologic activity.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Gonadotropins, Pituitary: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR) that stimulate gonadal functions in both males and females. They include FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE that stimulates germ cell maturation (OOGENESIS; SPERMATOGENESIS), and LUTEINIZING HORMONE that stimulates the production of sex steroids (ESTROGENS; PROGESTERONE; ANDROGENS).Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Trophoblastic Neoplasms: Trophoblastic growth, which may be gestational or nongestational in origin. Trophoblastic neoplasia resulting from pregnancy is often described as gestational trophoblastic disease to distinguish it from germ cell tumors which frequently show trophoblastic elements, and from the trophoblastic differentiation which sometimes occurs in a wide variety of epithelial cancers. Gestational trophoblastic growth has several forms, including HYDATIDIFORM MOLE and CHORIOCARCINOMA. (From Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1691)Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Pregnancy Tests: Tests to determine whether or not an individual is pregnant.Ovarian Follicle: An OOCYTE-containing structure in the cortex of the OVARY. The oocyte is enclosed by a layer of GRANULOSA CELLS providing a nourishing microenvironment (FOLLICULAR FLUID). The number and size of follicles vary depending on the age and reproductive state of the female. The growing follicles are divided into five stages: primary, secondary, tertiary, Graafian, and atretic. Follicular growth and steroidogenesis depend on the presence of GONADOTROPINS.Corpus Luteum: The yellow body derived from the ruptured OVARIAN FOLLICLE after OVULATION. The process of corpus luteum formation, LUTEINIZATION, is regulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE.Granulosa Cells: Supporting cells for the developing female gamete in the OVARY. They are derived from the coelomic epithelial cells of the gonadal ridge. Granulosa cells form a single layer around the OOCYTE in the primordial ovarian follicle and advance to form a multilayered cumulus oophorus surrounding the OVUM in the Graafian follicle. The major functions of granulosa cells include the production of steroids and LH receptors (RECEPTORS, LH).Hydatidiform Mole: Trophoblastic hyperplasia associated with normal gestation, or molar pregnancy. It is characterized by the swelling of the CHORIONIC VILLI and elevated human CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Hydatidiform moles or molar pregnancy may be categorized as complete or partial based on their gross morphology, histopathology, and karyotype.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A: A product of the PLACENTA, and DECIDUA, secreted into the maternal circulation during PREGNANCY. It has been identified as an IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-4 protease that proteolyzes IGFBP-4 and thus increases IGF bioavailability. It is found also in human FIBROBLASTS, ovarian FOLLICULAR FLUID, and GRANULOSA CELLS. The enzyme is a heterotetramer of about 500-kDa.Pregnancy Trimester, First: The beginning third of a human PREGNANCY, from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (MENSTRUATION) through the completion of 14 weeks (98 days) of gestation.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Pregnancy, Ectopic: A potentially life-threatening condition in which EMBRYO IMPLANTATION occurs outside the cavity of the UTERUS. Most ectopic pregnancies (>96%) occur in the FALLOPIAN TUBES, known as TUBAL PREGNANCY. They can be in other locations, such as UTERINE CERVIX; OVARY; and abdominal cavity (PREGNANCY, ABDOMINAL).Receptors, FSH: Cell surface proteins that bind FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Pituitary Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the SELLA TURCICA. It is connected to the HYPOTHALAMUS by a short stalk which is called the INFUNDIBULUM.Uterine Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the UTERUS.Reproductive Control Agents: Substances used either in the prevention or facilitation of pregnancy.Estriol: A hydroxylated metabolite of ESTRADIOL or ESTRONE that has a hydroxyl group at C3, 16-alpha, and 17-beta position. Estriol is a major urinary estrogen. During PREGNANCY, a large amount of estriol is produced by the PLACENTA. Isomers with inversion of the hydroxyl group or groups are called epiestriol.Hormones, Ectopic: Hormones released from neoplasms or from other cells that are not the usual sources of hormones.Placenta: A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).alpha-Fetoproteins: The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during FETAL DEVELOPMENT and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life.Gestational Trophoblastic Disease: A group of diseases arising from pregnancy that are commonly associated with hyperplasia of trophoblasts (TROPHOBLAST) and markedly elevated human CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. They include HYDATIDIFORM MOLE, invasive mole (HYDATIDIFORM MOLE, INVASIVE), placental-site trophoblastic tumor (TROPHOBLASTIC TUMOR, PLACENTAL SITE), and CHORIOCARCINOMA. These neoplasms have varying propensities for invasion and spread.Superovulation: Occurrence or induction of release of more ova than are normally released at the same time in a given species. The term applies to both animals and humans.Luteinizing Hormone, beta Subunit: The beta subunit of luteinizing hormone. It is a 15-kDa glycopolypeptide with structure similar to the beta subunit of the placental chorionic gonadatropin (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN) except for the additional 31 amino acids at the C-terminal of CG-beta. Full biological activity of LH requires the non-covalently bound heterodimers of an alpha and a beta subunit. Mutation of the LHB gene causes HYPOGONADISM and infertility.Trophoblasts: Cells lining the outside of the BLASTOCYST. After binding to the ENDOMETRIUM, trophoblasts develop into two distinct layers, an inner layer of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and an outer layer of continuous multinuclear cytoplasm, the syncytiotrophoblasts, which form the early fetal-maternal interface (PLACENTA).Hypogonadism: Condition resulting from deficient gonadal functions, such as GAMETOGENESIS and the production of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES. It is characterized by delay in GROWTH, germ cell maturation, and development of secondary sex characteristics. Hypogonadism can be due to a deficiency of GONADOTROPINS (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or due to primary gonadal failure (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism).Placental Lactogen: A polypeptide hormone of approximately 25 kDa that is produced by the SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS of the PLACENTA, also known as chorionic somatomammotropin. It has both GROWTH HORMONE and PROLACTIN activities on growth, lactation, and luteal steroid production. In women, placental lactogen secretion begins soon after implantation and increases to 1 g or more a day in late pregnancy. Placental lactogen is also an insulin antagonist.Fertility Agents, Female: Compounds which increase the capacity to conceive in females.Menotropins: Extracts of urine from menopausal women that contain high concentrations of pituitary gonadotropins, FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE. Menotropins are used to treat infertility. The FSH:LH ratio and degree of purity vary in different preparations.Follicle Stimulating Hormone, beta Subunit: The beta subunit of follicle stimulating hormone. It is a 15-kDa glycopolypeptide. Full biological activity of FSH requires the non-covalently bound heterodimers of an alpha and a beta subunit. Mutation of the FSHB gene causes delayed puberty, or infertility.Horses: Large, hoofed mammals of the family EQUIDAE. Horses are active day and night with most of the day spent seeking and consuming food. Feeding peaks occur in the early morning and late afternoon, and there are several daily periods of rest.Insemination, Artificial: Artificial introduction of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.Luteinization: Formation of CORPUS LUTEUM. This process includes capillary invasion of the ruptured OVARIAN FOLLICLE, hypertrophy of the GRANULOSA CELLS and the THECA CELLS, and the production of PROGESTERONE. Luteinization is regulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE.Nuchal Translucency Measurement: A prenatal ultrasonography measurement of the soft tissue behind the fetal neck. Either the translucent area below the skin in the back of the fetal neck (nuchal translucency) or the distance between occipital bone to the outer skin line (nuchal fold) is measured.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelyDown Syndrome: A chromosome disorder associated either with an extra chromosome 21 or an effective trisomy for chromosome 21. Clinical manifestations include hypotonia, short stature, brachycephaly, upslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthus, Brushfield spots on the iris, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands, fifth finger clinodactyly, Simian crease, and moderate to severe INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY. Cardiac and gastrointestinal malformations, a marked increase in the incidence of LEUKEMIA, and the early onset of ALZHEIMER DISEASE are also associated with this condition. Pathologic features include the development of NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES in neurons and the deposition of AMYLOID BETA-PROTEIN, similar to the pathology of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p213)Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Theca Cells: The flattened stroma cells forming a sheath or theca outside the basal lamina lining the mature OVARIAN FOLLICLE. Thecal interstitial or stromal cells are steroidogenic, and produce primarily ANDROGENS which serve as precusors of ESTROGENS in the GRANULOSA CELLS.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Pregnancy Tests, Immunologic: Methods of detecting pregnancy by examining the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in plasma or urine.Leydig Cell Tumor: Gonadal interstitial or stromal cell neoplasm composed of only LEYDIG CELLS. These tumors may produce one or more of the steroid hormones such as ANDROGENS; ESTROGENS; and CORTICOSTEROIDS. Clinical symptoms include testicular swelling, GYNECOMASTIA, sexual precocity in children, or virilization (VIRILISM) in females.Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Prolactin: A lactogenic hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). It is a polypeptide of approximately 23 kD. Besides its major action on lactation, in some species prolactin exerts effects on reproduction, maternal behavior, fat metabolism, immunomodulation and osmoregulation. Prolactin receptors are present in the mammary gland, hypothalamus, liver, ovary, testis, and prostate.Fluoroimmunoassay: The use of fluorescence spectrometry to obtain quantitative results for the FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE. One advantage over the other methods (e.g., radioimmunoassay) is its extreme sensitivity, with a detection limit on the order of tenths of microgram/liter.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal: Non-steroidal chemical compounds with abortifacient activity.Prenatal Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the postimplantation EMBRYO; FETUS; or pregnant female before birth.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Perissodactyla: An order of ungulates having an odd number of toes, including the horse, tapir, and rhinoceros. (Dorland, 27th ed)Pregnancy Trimester, Second: The middle third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 15th through the 28th completed week (99 to 196 days) of gestation.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Leuprolide: A potent synthetic long-acting agonist of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE that regulates the synthesis and release of pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE.Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal: Neoplasms composed of primordial GERM CELLS of embryonic GONADS or of elements of the germ layers of the EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN. The concept does not refer to neoplasms located in the gonads or present in an embryo or FETUS.Luteal Cells: PROGESTERONE-producing cells in the CORPUS LUTEUM. The large luteal cells derive from the GRANULOSA CELLS. The small luteal cells derive from the THECA CELLS.Pituitary Hormone-Releasing Hormones: Peptides, natural or synthetic, that stimulate the release of PITUITARY HORMONES. They were first isolated from the extracts of the HYPOTHALAMUS; MEDIAN EMINENCE; PITUITARY STALK; and NEUROHYPOPHYSIS. In addition, some hypophysiotropic hormones control pituitary cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and hormone synthesis. Some can act on more than one pituitary hormone.Androstenedione: A delta-4 C19 steroid that is produced not only in the TESTIS, but also in the OVARY and the ADRENAL CORTEX. Depending on the tissue type, androstenedione can serve as a precursor to TESTOSTERONE as well as ESTRONE and ESTRADIOL.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.Germinoma: A malignant neoplasm of the germinal tissue of the GONADS; MEDIASTINUM; or pineal region. Germinomas are uniform in appearance, consisting of large, round cells with vesicular nuclei and clear or finely granular eosinophilic-staining cytoplasm. (Stedman, 265th ed; from DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, pp1642-3)Follicular Phase: The period of the MENSTRUAL CYCLE representing follicular growth, increase in ovarian estrogen (ESTROGENS) production, and epithelial proliferation of the ENDOMETRIUM. Follicular phase begins with the onset of MENSTRUATION and ends with OVULATION.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Pregnancy Rate: The ratio of the number of conceptions (CONCEPTION) including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; and fetal losses, to the mean number of females of reproductive age in a population during a set time period.Pregnancy, Tubal: The most common (>96%) type of ectopic pregnancy in which the extrauterine EMBRYO IMPLANTATION occurs in the FALLOPIAN TUBE, usually in the ampullary region where FERTILIZATION takes place.Immunoradiometric Assay: Form of radioimmunoassay in which excess specific labeled antibody is added directly to the test antigen being measured.Hormone Antagonists: Chemical substances which inhibit the function of the endocrine glands, the biosynthesis of their secreted hormones, or the action of hormones upon their specific sites.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Estrus Synchronization: Occurrence or induction of ESTRUS in all of the females in a group at the same time, applies only to non-primate mammals with ESTROUS CYCLE.8-Bromo Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate: A long-acting derivative of cyclic AMP. It is an activator of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, but resistant to degradation by cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase.Corpus Luteum Maintenance: Process of maintaining the functions of CORPORA LUTEA, specifically PROGESTERONE production which is regulated primarily by pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in cycling females, and by PLACENTAL HORMONES in pregnant females. The ability to maintain luteal functions is important in PREGNANCY MAINTENANCE.Luteal Phase: The period in the MENSTRUAL CYCLE that follows OVULATION, characterized by the development of CORPUS LUTEUM, increase in PROGESTERONE production by the OVARY and secretion by the glandular epithelium of the ENDOMETRIUM. The luteal phase begins with ovulation and ends with the onset of MENSTRUATION.Seminoma: A radiosensitive, malignant neoplasm of the testis, thought to be derived from primordial germ cells of the sexually undifferentiated embryonic gonad. There are three variants: classical (typical), the most common type; anaplastic; and spermatocytic. The classical seminoma is composed of fairly well differentiated sheets or cords of uniform polygonal or round cells (seminoma cells), each cell having abundant clear cytoplasm, distinct cell membranes, a centrally placed round nucleus, and one or more nucleoli. In the female, a grossly and histologically identical neoplasm, known as dysgerminoma, occurs. (Dorland, 27th ed)Biological Assay: A method of measuring the effects of a biologically active substance using an intermediate in vivo or in vitro tissue or cell model under controlled conditions. It includes virulence studies in animal fetuses in utero, mouse convulsion bioassay of insulin, quantitation of tumor-initiator systems in mouse skin, calculation of potentiating effects of a hormonal factor in an isolated strip of contracting stomach muscle, etc.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Thyrotropin: A glycoprotein hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Thyrotropin stimulates THYROID GLAND by increasing the iodide transport, synthesis and release of thyroid hormones (THYROXINE and TRIIODOTHYRONINE). Thyrotropin consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH; LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Receptors, LHRH: Receptors with a 6-kDa protein on the surfaces of cells that secrete LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE, usually in the adenohypophysis. LUTEINIZING HORMONE-RELEASING HORMONE binds to these receptors, is endocytosed with the receptor and, in the cell, triggers the release of LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE by the cell. These receptors are also found in rat gonads. INHIBINS prevent the binding of GnRH to its receptors.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.Puberty, Precocious: Development of SEXUAL MATURATION in boys and girls at a chronological age that is 2.5 standard deviations below the mean age at onset of PUBERTY in the population. This early maturation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis results in sexual precocity, elevated serum levels of GONADOTROPINS and GONADAL STEROID HORMONES such as ESTRADIOL and TESTOSTERONE.Bucladesine: A cyclic nucleotide derivative that mimics the action of endogenous CYCLIC AMP and is capable of permeating the cell membrane. It has vasodilator properties and is used as a cardiac stimulant. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Gonadotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that can produce both FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE.Pituitary Hormones, Anterior: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Structurally, they include polypeptide, protein, and glycoprotein molecules.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Castration: Surgical removal or artificial destruction of gonads.Endometrium: The mucous membrane lining of the uterine cavity that is hormonally responsive during the MENSTRUAL CYCLE and PREGNANCY. The endometrium undergoes cyclic changes that characterize MENSTRUATION. After successful FERTILIZATION, it serves to sustain the developing embryo.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Follicular Fluid: The fluid surrounding the OVUM and GRANULOSA CELLS in the Graafian follicle (OVARIAN FOLLICLE). The follicular fluid contains sex steroids, glycoprotein hormones, plasma proteins, mucopolysaccharides, and enzymes.Progesterone Congeners: Steroidal compounds related to PROGESTERONE, the major mammalian progestational hormone. Progesterone congeners include important progesterone precursors in the biosynthetic pathways, metabolites, derivatives, and synthetic steroids with progestational activities.Clomiphene: A triphenyl ethylene stilbene derivative which is an estrogen agonist or antagonist depending on the target tissue. Note that ENCLOMIPHENE and ZUCLOMIPHENE are the (E) and (Z) isomers of Clomiphene respectively.Pituitary Gland, Anterior: The anterior glandular lobe of the pituitary gland, also known as the adenohypophysis. It secretes the ADENOHYPOPHYSEAL HORMONES that regulate vital functions such as GROWTH; METABOLISM; and REPRODUCTION.Abortion, Spontaneous: Expulsion of the product of FERTILIZATION before completing the term of GESTATION and without deliberate interference.Receptors, Thyrotropin: Cell surface proteins that bind pituitary THYROTROPIN (also named thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH) and trigger intracellular changes of the target cells. TSH receptors are present in the nervous system and on target cells in the thyroid gland. Autoantibodies to TSH receptors are implicated in thyroid diseases such as GRAVES DISEASE and Hashimoto disease (THYROIDITIS, AUTOIMMUNE).Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Aromatase: An enzyme that catalyzes the desaturation (aromatization) of the ring A of C19 androgens and converts them to C18 estrogens. In this process, the 19-methyl is removed. This enzyme is membrane-bound, located in the endoplasmic reticulum of estrogen-producing cells of ovaries, placenta, testes, adipose, and brain tissues. Aromatase is encoded by the CYP19 gene, and functions in complex with NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE in the cytochrome P-450 system.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Glycosylation: The chemical or biochemical addition of carbohydrate or glycosyl groups to other chemicals, especially peptides or proteins. Glycosyl transferases are used in this biochemical reaction.Gynecomastia: Enlargement of the BREAST in the males, caused by an excess of ESTROGENS. Physiological gynecomastia is normally observed in NEWBORNS; ADOLESCENT; and AGING males.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Hydatidiform Mole, Invasive: A uterine tumor derived from persistent gestational TROPHOBLASTS, most likely after a molar pregnancy (HYDATIDIFORM MOLE). Invasive hyadatiform mole develops in about 15% of patients after evacuation of a complete mole and less frequently after other types of gestation. It may perforate the MYOMETRIUM and erode uterine vessels causing hemorrhage.Buserelin: A potent synthetic analog of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-serine substitution at residue 6, glycine10 deletion, and other modifications.Estrone: An aromatized C18 steroid with a 3-hydroxyl group and a 17-ketone, a major mammalian estrogen. It is converted from ANDROSTENEDIONE directly, or from TESTOSTERONE via ESTRADIOL. In humans, it is produced primarily by the cyclic ovaries, PLACENTA, and the ADIPOSE TISSUE of men and postmenopausal women.Gonadal Steroid Hormones: Steroid hormones produced by the GONADS. They stimulate reproductive organs, germ cell maturation, and the secondary sex characteristics in the males and the females. The major sex steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; and TESTOSTERONE.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the side-chain cleavage of C27 cholesterol to C21 pregnenolone in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11A1 gene, catalyzes the breakage between C20 and C22 which is the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of various gonadal and adrenal steroid hormones.Oligosaccharides: Carbohydrates consisting of between two (DISACCHARIDES) and ten MONOSACCHARIDES connected by either an alpha- or beta-glycosidic link. They are found throughout nature in both the free and bound form.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Estrous Cycle: The period of cyclic physiological and behavior changes in non-primate female mammals that exhibit ESTRUS. The estrous cycle generally consists of 4 or 5 distinct periods corresponding to the endocrine status (PROESTRUS; ESTRUS; METESTRUS; DIESTRUS; and ANESTRUS).Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Receptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Menstrual Cycle: The period from onset of one menstrual bleeding (MENSTRUATION) to the next in an ovulating woman or female primate. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the HYPOTHALAMUS; the PITUITARY GLAND; the ovaries; and the genital tract. The menstrual cycle is divided by OVULATION into two phases. Based on the endocrine status of the OVARY, there is a FOLLICULAR PHASE and a LUTEAL PHASE. Based on the response in the ENDOMETRIUM, the menstrual cycle is divided into a proliferative and a secretory phase.Anestrus: A state of sexual inactivity in female animals exhibiting no ESTROUS CYCLE. Causes of anestrus include pregnancy, presence of offspring, season, stress, and pathology.Fertility Agents: Drugs used to increase fertility or to treat infertility.Follicular Atresia: The degeneration and resorption of an OVARIAN FOLLICLE before it reaches maturity and ruptures.Crown-Rump Length: In utero measurement corresponding to the sitting height (crown to rump) of the fetus. Length is considered a more accurate criterion of the age of the fetus than is the weight. The average crown-rump length of the fetus at term is 36 cm. (From Williams Obstetrics, 18th ed, p91)Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Dinoprost: A naturally occurring prostaglandin that has oxytocic, luteolytic, and abortifacient activities. Due to its vasocontractile properties, the compound has a variety of other biological actions.Follicular Cyst: Cyst due to the occlusion of the duct of a follicle or small gland.False Positive Reactions: Positive test results in subjects who do not possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of healthy persons as diseased when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Androgens: Compounds that interact with ANDROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of TESTOSTERONE. Depending on the target tissues, androgenic effects can be on SEX DIFFERENTIATION; male reproductive organs, SPERMATOGENESIS; secondary male SEX CHARACTERISTICS; LIBIDO; development of muscle mass, strength, and power.Orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A complication of OVULATION INDUCTION in infertility treatment. It is graded by the severity of symptoms which include OVARY enlargement, multiple OVARIAN FOLLICLES; OVARIAN CYSTS; ASCITES; and generalized EDEMA. The full-blown syndrome may lead to RENAL FAILURE, respiratory distress, and even DEATH. Increased capillary permeability is caused by the vasoactive substances, such as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS, secreted by the overly-stimulated OVARIES.Estrogens: Compounds that interact with ESTROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of ESTRADIOL. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female SEX CHARACTERISTICS. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Maternal Age: The age of the mother in PREGNANCY.Pregnancy-Specific beta 1-Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins with the electrophoretic mobility of BETA-GLOBULINS, secreted by the placental TROPHOBLASTS into the maternal bloodstream during PREGNANCY. They can be detected 18 days after OVULATION and reach 200 mg/ml at the end of pregnancy. They are associated with fetal well-being.Puberty, Delayed: The lack of development of SEXUAL MATURATION in boys and girls at a chronological age that is 2.5 standard deviations above the mean age at onset of PUBERTY in a population. Delayed puberty can be classified by defects in the hypothalamic LHRH pulse generator, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the GONADS. These patients will undergo spontaneous but delayed puberty whereas patients with SEXUAL INFANTILISM will not.Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase: A microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 17-alpha-hydroxylation of progesterone or pregnenolone and subsequent cleavage of the residual two carbons at C17 in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP17 gene, generates precursors for glucocorticoid, androgen, and estrogen synthesis. Defects in CYP17 gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL) and abnormal sexual differentiation.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Cryptorchidism: A developmental defect in which a TESTIS or both TESTES failed to descend from high in the ABDOMEN to the bottom of the SCROTUM. Testicular descent is essential to normal SPERMATOGENESIS which requires temperature lower than the BODY TEMPERATURE. Cryptorchidism can be subclassified by the location of the maldescended testis.20-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: A group of enzymes that catalyze the reversible reduction-oxidation reaction of 20-hydroxysteroids, such as from a 20-ketosteroid to a 20-alpha-hydroxysteroid (EC 184.108.40.206) or to a 20-beta-hydroxysteroid (EC 220.127.116.11).Pseudopregnancy: An acyclic state that resembles PREGNANCY in that there is no ovarian cycle, ESTROUS CYCLE, or MENSTRUAL CYCLE. Unlike pregnancy, there is no EMBRYO IMPLANTATION. Pseudopregnancy can be experimentally induced to form DECIDUOMA in the UTERUS.Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Dihydrotestosterone: A potent androgenic metabolite of TESTOSTERONE. It is produced by the action of the enzyme 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE.Dysgerminoma: A malignant ovarian neoplasm, thought to be derived from primordial germ cells of the sexually undifferentiated embryonic gonad. It is the counterpart of the classical seminoma of the testis, to which it is both grossly and histologically identical. Dysgerminomas comprise 16% of all germ cell tumors but are rare before the age of 10, although nearly 50% occur before the age of 20. They are generally considered of low-grade malignancy but may spread if the tumor extends through its capsule and involves lymph nodes or blood vessels. (Dorland, 27th ed; DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, p1646)Dehydroepiandrosterone: A major C19 steroid produced by the ADRENAL CORTEX. It is also produced in small quantities in the TESTIS and the OVARY. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be converted to TESTOSTERONE; ANDROSTENEDIONE; ESTRADIOL; and ESTRONE. Most of DHEA is sulfated (DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE SULFATE) before secretion.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Triptorelin Pamoate: A potent synthetic long-acting agonist of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-tryptophan substitution at residue 6.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Carcinoma, Bronchogenic: Malignant neoplasm arising from the epithelium of the BRONCHI. It represents a large group of epithelial lung malignancies which can be divided into two clinical groups: SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER and NON-SMALL-CELL LUNG CARCINOMA.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Fertility Agents, Male: Compounds which increase the capacity of the male to induce conception.Pregnancy Trimester, Third: The last third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 29th through the 42nd completed week (197 to 294 days) of gestation.Maternal Serum Screening Tests: Analysis of the level of specific BIOMARKERS in a pregnant woman's sera to identify those at risk for PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS or BIRTH DEFECTS.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Gonads: The gamete-producing glands, OVARY or TESTIS.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Relaxin: A water-soluble polypeptide (molecular weight approximately 8,000) extractable from the corpus luteum of pregnancy. It produces relaxation of the pubic symphysis and dilation of the uterine cervix in certain animal species. Its role in the human pregnant female is uncertain. (Dorland, 28th ed)Walruses: The family Odobenidae, suborder PINNIPEDIA, order CARNIVORA. It is represented by a single species of large, nearly hairless mammal found on Arctic shorelines, whose upper canines are modified into tusks.Samarium: Samarium. An element of the rare earth family of metals. It has the atomic symbol Sm, atomic number 62, and atomic weight 150.36. The oxide is used in the control rods of some nuclear reactors.Ovarian Diseases: Pathological processes of the OVARY.Menstruation: The periodic shedding of the ENDOMETRIUM and associated menstrual bleeding in the MENSTRUAL CYCLE of humans and primates. Menstruation is due to the decline in circulating PROGESTERONE, and occurs at the late LUTEAL PHASE when LUTEOLYSIS of the CORPUS LUTEUM takes place.Asparagine: A non-essential amino acid that is involved in the metabolic control of cell functions in nerve and brain tissue. It is biosynthesized from ASPARTIC ACID and AMMONIA by asparagine synthetase. (From Concise Encyclopedia Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 3rd ed)Macaca radiata: A species of macaque monkey that mainly inhabits the forest of southern India. They are also called bonnet macaques or bonnet monkeys.Colforsin: Potent activator of the adenylate cyclase system and the biosynthesis of cyclic AMP. From the plant COLEUS FORSKOHLII. Has antihypertensive, positive inotropic, platelet aggregation inhibitory, and smooth muscle relaxant activities; also lowers intraocular pressure and promotes release of hormones from the pituitary gland.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Prostaglandins F: (9 alpha,11 alpha,13E,15S)-9,11,15-Trihydroxyprost-13-en-1-oic acid (PGF(1 alpha)); (5Z,9 alpha,11,alpha,13E,15S)-9,11,15-trihydroxyprosta-5,13-dien-1-oic acid (PGF(2 alpha)); (5Z,9 alpha,11 alpha,13E,15S,17Z)-9,11,15-trihydroxyprosta-5,13,17-trien-1-oic acid (PGF(3 alpha)). A family of prostaglandins that includes three of the six naturally occurring prostaglandins. All naturally occurring PGF have an alpha configuration at the 9-carbon position. They stimulate uterine and bronchial smooth muscle and are often used as oxytocics.Mifepristone: A progestational and glucocorticoid hormone antagonist. Its inhibition of progesterone induces bleeding during the luteal phase and in early pregnancy by releasing endogenous prostaglandins from the endometrium or decidua. As a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, the drug has been used to treat hypercortisolism in patients with nonpituitary CUSHING SYNDROME.Carbohydrate Sequence: The sequence of carbohydrates within POLYSACCHARIDES; GLYCOPROTEINS; and GLYCOLIPIDS.Trophoblastic Tumor, Placental Site: An uncommon variant of CHORIOCARCINOMA. It is composed almost entirely of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts (TROPHOBLASTS). Because its secretion of hCG (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN) is low, a large tumor may develop before the hCG can be detected.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Europium: Europium. An element of the rare earth family of metals. It has the atomic symbol Eu, atomic number 63, and atomic weight 152. Europium is used in the form of its salts as coatings for cathode ray tubes and in the form of its organic derivatives as shift reagents in NMR spectroscopy.Luteolysis: Degradation of CORPUS LUTEUM. In the absence of pregnancy and diminishing trophic hormones, the corpus luteum undergoes luteolysis which is characterized by the involution and cessation of its endocrine function.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Disulfides: Chemical groups containing the covalent disulfide bonds -S-S-. The sulfur atoms can be bound to inorganic or organic moieties.Infertility: Inability to reproduce after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Reproductive sterility is permanent infertility.Amniocentesis: Percutaneous transabdominal puncture of the uterus during pregnancy to obtain amniotic fluid. It is commonly used for fetal karyotype determination in order to diagnose abnormal fetal conditions.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Pregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid, derived from CHOLESTEROL and found in steroid hormone-producing tissues. Pregnenolone is the precursor to GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Macromolecular Substances: Compounds and molecular complexes that consist of very large numbers of atoms and are generally over 500 kDa in size. In biological systems macromolecular substances usually can be visualized using ELECTRON MICROSCOPY and are distinguished from ORGANELLES by the lack of a membrane structure.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Activins: Activins are produced in the pituitary, gonads, and other tissues. By acting locally, they stimulate pituitary FSH secretion and have diverse effects on cell differentiation and embryonic development. Activins are glycoproteins that are hetero- or homodimers of INHIBIN-BETA SUBUNITS.