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.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.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).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.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.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).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.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.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.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)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.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.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.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).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.Protein Subunits: Single chains of amino acids that are the units of multimeric PROTEINS. Multimeric proteins can be composed of identical or non-identical subunits. One or more monomeric subunits may compose a protomer which itself is a subunit structure of a larger assembly.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.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.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.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.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.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.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.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).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).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.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Receptors, FSH: Cell surface proteins that bind FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.Hormones, Ectopic: Hormones released from neoplasms or from other cells that are not the usual sources of hormones.Uterine Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the UTERUS.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.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.Reproductive Control Agents: Substances used either in the prevention or facilitation of pregnancy.alpha-Fetoproteins: The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during FETAL DEVELOPMENT and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.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).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.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.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.Interleukin-1beta: An interleukin-1 subtype that is synthesized as an inactive membrane-bound pro-protein. Proteolytic processing of the precursor form by CASPASE 1 results in release of the active form of interleukin-1beta from the membrane.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Proton-Translocating ATPases: Multisubunit enzymes that reversibly synthesize ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE. They are coupled to the transport of protons across a membrane.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.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.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.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.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).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).Fertility Agents, Female: Compounds which increase the capacity to conceive in females.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, respectivelyHorses: 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.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).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.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.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.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.Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Down 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)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.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.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.beta 2-Microglobulin: An 11-kDa protein associated with the outer membrane of many cells including lymphocytes. It is the small subunit of the MHC class I molecule. Association with beta 2-microglobulin is generally required for the transport of class I heavy chains from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface. Beta 2-microglobulin is present in small amounts in serum, csf, and urine of normal people, and to a much greater degree in the urine and plasma of patients with tubular proteinemia, renal failure, or kidney transplants.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.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.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.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)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).Pregnancy Tests, Immunologic: Methods of detecting pregnancy by examining the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in plasma or urine.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.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.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.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.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)Integrin beta3: An integrin beta subunit of approximately 85-kDa in size which has been found in INTEGRIN ALPHAIIB-containing and INTEGRIN ALPHAV-containing heterodimers. Integrin beta3 occurs as three alternatively spliced isoforms, designated beta3A-C.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal: Non-steroidal chemical compounds with abortifacient activity.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Pituitary Hormones, Anterior: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Structurally, they include polypeptide, protein, and glycoprotein molecules.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.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.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Mutagenesis, Site-Directed: Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.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.Prenatal Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the postimplantation EMBRYO; FETUS; or pregnant female before birth.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Perissodactyla: An order of ungulates having an odd number of toes, including the horse, tapir, and rhinoceros. (Dorland, 27th ed)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.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.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Immunoradiometric Assay: Form of radioimmunoassay in which excess specific labeled antibody is added directly to the test antigen being measured.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.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.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.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.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.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).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.Recombinant Fusion Proteins: Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.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.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.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.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.Structure-Activity Relationship: The relationship between the chemical structure of a compound and its biological or pharmacological activity. Compounds are often classed together because they have structural characteristics in common including shape, size, stereochemical arrangement, and distribution of functional groups.Receptors, Adrenergic, beta: One of two major pharmacologically defined classes of adrenergic receptors. The beta adrenergic receptors play an important role in regulating CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, SMOOTH MUSCLE relaxation, and GLYCOGENOLYSIS.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)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.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.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Gonadotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that can produce both FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE.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.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.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.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.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.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.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel beta Subunits: The regulatory subunits of large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.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.Disulfides: Chemical groups containing the covalent disulfide bonds -S-S-. The sulfur atoms can be bound to inorganic or organic moieties.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)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.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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.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)Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.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.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.Dimerization: The process by which two molecules of the same chemical composition form a condensation product or polymer.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.Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase: An enzyme that catalyzes the active transport system of sodium and potassium ions across the cell wall. Sodium and potassium ions are closely coupled with membrane ATPase which undergoes phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, thereby providing energy for transport of these ions against concentration gradients.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.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Integrin beta Chains: Integrin beta chains combine with integrin alpha chains to form heterodimeric cell surface receptors. Integrins have traditionally been classified into functional groups based on the identity of one of three beta chains present in the heterodimer. The beta chain is necessary and sufficient for integrin-dependent signaling. Its short cytoplasmic tail contains sequences critical for inside-out signaling.CHO Cells: CELL LINE derived from the ovary of the Chinese hamster, Cricetulus griseus (CRICETULUS). The species is a favorite for cytogenetic studies because of its small chromosome number. The cell line has provided model systems for the study of genetic alterations in cultured mammalian cells.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.Integrins: A family of transmembrane glycoproteins (MEMBRANE GLYCOPROTEINS) consisting of noncovalent heterodimers. They interact with a wide variety of ligands including EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PROTEINS; COMPLEMENT, and other cells, while their intracellular domains interact with the CYTOSKELETON. The integrins consist of at least three identified families: the cytoadhesin receptors(RECEPTORS, CYTOADHESIN), the leukocyte adhesion receptors (RECEPTORS, LEUKOCYTE ADHESION), and the VERY LATE ANTIGEN RECEPTORS. Each family contains a common beta-subunit (INTEGRIN BETA CHAINS) combined with one or more distinct alpha-subunits (INTEGRIN ALPHA CHAINS). These receptors participate in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion in many physiologically important processes, including embryological development; HEMOSTASIS; THROMBOSIS; WOUND HEALING; immune and nonimmune defense mechanisms; and oncogenic transformation.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Tryptophan Synthase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-serine and 1-(indol-3-yl)glycerol 3-phosphate to L-tryptophan and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. It is a pyridoxal phosphate protein that also catalyzes the conversion of serine and indole into tryptophan and water and of indoleglycerol phosphate into indole and glyceraldehyde phosphate. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 22.214.171.124.Trypsin: A serine endopeptidase that is formed from TRYPSINOGEN in the pancreas. It is converted into its active form by ENTEROPEPTIDASE in the small intestine. It catalyzes hydrolysis of the carboxyl group of either arginine or lysine. EC 126.96.36.199.Restriction Mapping: Use of restriction endonucleases to analyze and generate a physical map of genomes, genes, or other segments of DNA.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.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).Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.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.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.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)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.Carbohydrate Sequence: The sequence of carbohydrates within POLYSACCHARIDES; GLYCOPROTEINS; and GLYCOLIPIDS.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.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Abortion, Spontaneous: Expulsion of the product of FERTILIZATION before completing the term of GESTATION and without deliberate interference.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.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.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.Enzyme Activation: Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.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.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.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.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.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.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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).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.Buserelin: A potent synthetic analog of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-serine substitution at residue 6, glycine10 deletion, and other modifications.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.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.GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits: Heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein subunits that tightly associate with GTP-BINDING PROTEIN GAMMA SUBUNITS. A dimer of beta and gamma subunits is formed when the GTP-BINDING PROTEIN ALPHA SUBUNIT dissociates from the GTP-binding protein heterotrimeric complex. The beta-gamma dimer can play an important role in signal transduction by interacting with a variety of second messengers.Chromatography, Gel: Chromatography on non-ionic gels without regard to the mechanism of solute discrimination.Transforming Growth Factor beta: A factor synthesized in a wide variety of tissues. It acts synergistically with TGF-alpha in inducing phenotypic transformation and can also act as a negative autocrine growth factor. TGF-beta has a potential role in embryonal development, cellular differentiation, hormone secretion, and immune function. TGF-beta is found mostly as homodimer forms of separate gene products TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2 or TGF-beta3. Heterodimers composed of TGF-beta1 and 2 (TGF-beta1.2) or of TGF-beta2 and 3 (TGF-beta2.3) have been isolated. The TGF-beta proteins are synthesized as precursor proteins.