Macula Lutea: An oval area in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, usually located temporal to the posterior pole of the eye and slightly below the level of the optic disk. It is characterized by the presence of a yellow pigment diffusely permeating the inner layers, contains the fovea centralis in its center, and provides the best phototropic visual acuity. It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery, and receives nourishment from the choriocapillaris of the choroid. (From Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)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.Acoustic Maculae: The sensory areas on the vertical wall of the saccule and in the floor of the utricle. The hair cells in the maculae are innervated by fibers of the VESTIBULAR NERVE.Juxtaglomerular Apparatus: A complex of cells consisting of juxtaglomerular cells, extraglomerular mesangium lacis cells, the macula densa of the distal convoluted tubule, and granular epithelial peripolar cells. Juxtaglomerular cells are modified SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS found in the walls of afferent glomerular arterioles and sometimes the efferent arterioles. Extraglomerular mesangium lacis cells are located in the angle between the afferent and efferent glomerular arterioles. Granular epithelial peripolar cells are located at the angle of reflection of the parietal to visceral angle of the renal corpuscle.Kidney Tubules, Distal: The portion of renal tubule that begins from the enlarged segment of the ascending limb of the LOOP OF HENLE. It reenters the KIDNEY CORTEX and forms the convoluted segments of the distal tubule.Sarcina: A genus of gram-positive, anaerobic bacteria whose organisms divide in three perpendicular planes and occur in packets of eight or more cells. It has been isolated from soil, grains, and clinical specimens.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.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.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.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.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.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.Gentiana: A plant genus of the family Gentianaceae whose members contain SECOIRIDOIDS and have been used in TRADITIONAL MEDICINE for suppressing INFLAMMATION.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.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.Saccule and Utricle: Two membranous sacs within the vestibular labyrinth of the INNER EAR. The saccule communicates with COCHLEAR DUCT through the ductus reuniens, and communicates with utricle through the utriculosaccular duct from which the ENDOLYMPHATIC DUCT arises. The utricle and saccule have sensory areas (acoustic maculae) which are innervated by the VESTIBULAR NERVE.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.Tomography, Optical Coherence: An imaging method using LASERS that is used for mapping subsurface structure. When a reflective site in the sample is at the same optical path length (coherence) as the reference mirror, the detector observes interference fringes.Macular Degeneration: Degenerative changes in the RETINA usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the MACULA LUTEA) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms.Retinal DiseasesPregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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.Fluorescein Angiography: Visualization of a vascular system after intravenous injection of a fluorescein solution. The images may be photographed or televised. It is used especially in studying the retinal and uveal vasculature.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).Loop of Henle: The U-shaped portion of the renal tubule in the KIDNEY MEDULLA, consisting of a descending limb and an ascending limb. It is situated between the PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE and the DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE.Bruch Membrane: The inner layer of CHOROID, also called the lamina basalis choroideae, located adjacent to the RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM; (RPE) of the EYE. It is a membrane composed of the basement membranes of the choriocapillaris ENDOTHELIUM and that of the RPE. The membrane stops at the OPTIC NERVE, as does the RPE.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).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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.Visual Acuity: Clarity or sharpness of OCULAR VISION or the ability of the eye to see fine details. Visual acuity depends on the functions of RETINA, neuronal transmission, and the interpretative ability of the brain. Normal visual acuity is expressed as 20/20 indicating that one can see at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Visual acuity can also be influenced by brightness, color, and contrast.Retinal Drusen: Colloid or hyaline bodies lying beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. They may occur either secondary to changes in the choroid that affect the pigment epithelium or as an autosomal dominant disorder of the retinal pigment epithelium.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.Fundus Oculi: The concave interior of the eye, consisting of the retina, the choroid, the sclera, the optic disk, and blood vessels, seen by means of the ophthalmoscope. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)20-alpha-Dihydroprogesterone: A biologically active 20-alpha-reduced metabolite of PROGESTERONE. It is converted from progesterone to 20-alpha-hydroxypregn-4-en-3-one by the 20-ALPHA-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASE in the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA.Kidney Tubules: Long convoluted tubules in the nephrons. They collect filtrate from blood passing through the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS and process this filtrate into URINE. Each renal tubule consists of a BOWMAN CAPSULE; PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE; LOOP OF HENLE; DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCT leading to the central cavity of the kidney (KIDNEY PELVIS) that connects to the URETER.Lutein: A xanthophyll found in the major LIGHT-HARVESTING PROTEIN COMPLEXES of plants. Dietary lutein accumulates in the MACULA LUTEA.Furosemide: A benzoic-sulfonamide-furan. It is a diuretic with fast onset and short duration that is used for EDEMA and chronic RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Kidney Glomerulus: A cluster of convoluted capillaries beginning at each nephric tubule in the kidney and held together by connective tissue.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.Diestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLES that follows METESTRUS. Diestrus is a period of sexual quiescence separating phases of ESTRUS in polyestrous animals.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.Pregnancy Maintenance: Physiological mechanisms that sustain the state of PREGNANCY.Hair Cells, Vestibular: Sensory cells in the acoustic maculae with their apical STEREOCILIA embedded in a gelatinous OTOLITHIC MEMBRANE. These hair cells are stimulated by the movement of otolithic membrane, and impulses are transmitted via the VESTIBULAR NERVE to the BRAIN STEM. Hair cells in the saccule and those in the utricle sense linear acceleration in vertical and horizontal directions, respectively.Sodium Chloride: A ubiquitous sodium salt that is commonly used to season food.Sodium-Potassium-Chloride Symporters: A subclass of symporters that specifically transport SODIUM CHLORIDE and/or POTASSIUM CHLORIDE across cellular membranes in a tightly coupled process.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.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 1.1.1.149) or to a 20-beta-hydroxysteroid (EC 1.1.1.53).Feedback: A mechanism of communication within a system in that the input signal generates an output response which returns to influence the continued activity or productivity of that system.Solute Carrier Family 12, Member 1: Na-K-Cl transporter in the ASCENDING LIMB OF LOOP OF HENLE. It mediates active reabsorption of sodium chloride and is inhibited by LOOP DIURETICS such as FUROSEMIDE; and BUMETANIDE. Mutations in the gene encoding SLC12A1 are associated with a BARTTER SYNDROME.Fovea Centralis: An area approximately 1.5 millimeters in diameter within the macula lutea where the retina thins out greatly because of the oblique shifting of all layers except the pigment epithelium layer. It includes the sloping walls of the fovea (clivus) and contains a few rods in its periphery. In its center (foveola) are the cones most adapted to yield high visual acuity, each cone being connected to only one ganglion cell. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)Choroid: The thin, highly vascular membrane covering most of the posterior of the eye between the RETINA and SCLERA.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.Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I: A CALCIUM-dependent, constitutively-expressed form of nitric oxide synthase found primarily in NERVE TISSUE.Retinal Detachment: Separation of the inner layers of the retina (neural retina) from the pigment epithelium. Retinal detachment occurs more commonly in men than in women, in eyes with degenerative myopia, in aging and in aphakia. It may occur after an uncomplicated cataract extraction, but it is seen more often if vitreous humor has been lost during surgery. (Dorland, 27th ed; Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p310-12).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.Feedback, Physiological: A mechanism of communication with a physiological system for homeostasis, adaptation, etc. Physiological feedback is mediated through extensive feedback mechanisms that use physiological cues as feedback loop signals to control other systems.Retina: The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the OPTIC NERVE and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the CHOROID and the inner surface with the VITREOUS BODY. The outer-most layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent.Xanthophylls: Oxygenated forms of carotenoids. They are usually derived from alpha and beta carotene.Arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.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)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.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).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).3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.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.Ear, Inner: The essential part of the hearing organ consists of two labyrinthine compartments: the bony labyrinthine and the membranous labyrinth. The bony labyrinth is a complex of three interconnecting cavities or spaces (COCHLEA; VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH; and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS) in the TEMPORAL BONE. Within the bony labyrinth lies the membranous labyrinth which is a complex of sacs and tubules (COCHLEAR DUCT; SACCULE AND UTRICLE; and SEMICIRCULAR DUCTS) forming a continuous space enclosed by EPITHELIUM and connective tissue. These spaces are filled with LABYRINTHINE FLUIDS of various compositions.Litter Size: The number of offspring produced at one birth by a viviparous animal.Pigment Epithelium of Eye: The layer of pigment-containing epithelial cells in the RETINA; the CILIARY BODY; and the IRIS in the eye.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.20-alpha-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase: An enzymes that catalyzes the reversible reduction-oxidation reaction of 20-alpha-hydroxysteroids, such as from PROGESTERONE to 20-ALPHA-DIHYDROPROGESTERONE.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.Ophthalmoscopy: Examination of the interior of the eye with an ophthalmoscope.Cloprostenol: A synthetic prostaglandin F2alpha analog. The compound has luteolytic effects and is used for the synchronization of estrus in cattle.Bumetanide: A sulfamyl diuretic.Otolithic Membrane: A gelatinous membrane overlying the acoustic maculae of SACCULE AND UTRICLE. It contains minute crystalline particles (otoliths) of CALCIUM CARBONATE and protein on its outer surface. In response to head movement, the otoliths shift causing distortion of the vestibular hair cells which transduce nerve signals to the BRAIN for interpretation of equilibrium.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Oxytocin: A nonapeptide hormone released from the neurohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, POSTERIOR). It differs from VASOPRESSIN by two amino acids at residues 3 and 8. Oxytocin acts on SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, such as causing UTERINE CONTRACTIONS and MILK EJECTION.Kidney Cortex: The outer zone of the KIDNEY, beneath the capsule, consisting of KIDNEY GLOMERULUS; KIDNEY TUBULES, DISTAL; and KIDNEY TUBULES, PROXIMAL.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.Cyclooxygenase 2: An inducibly-expressed subtype of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase. It plays an important role in many cellular processes and INFLAMMATION. It is the target of COX2 INHIBITORS.Pregnenediones: Unsaturated pregnane derivatives containing two keto groups on side chains or ring structures.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.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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Retinal Pigment Epithelium: The single layer of pigment-containing epithelial cells in the RETINA, situated closely to the tips (outer segments) of the RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. These epithelial cells are macroglia that perform essential functions for the photoreceptor cells, such as in nutrient transport, phagocytosis of the shed photoreceptor membranes, and ensuring retinal attachment.Flurogestone Acetate: A synthetic fluorinated steroid that is used as a progestational hormone.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.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.Electroretinography: Recording of electric potentials in the retina after stimulation by light.Choroid Diseases: Disorders of the choroid including hereditary choroidal diseases, neoplasms, and other abnormalities of the vascular layer of the uvea.Macular Edema: Fluid accumulation in the outer layer of the MACULA LUTEA that results from intraocular or systemic insults. It may develop in a diffuse pattern where the macula appears thickened or it may acquire the characteristic petaloid appearance referred to as cystoid macular edema. Although macular edema may be associated with various underlying conditions, it is most commonly seen following intraocular surgery, venous occlusive disease, DIABETIC RETINOPATHY, and posterior segment inflammatory disease. (From Survey of Ophthalmology 2004; 49(5) 470-90)Diuretics: Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function.Bromocriptine: A semisynthetic ergotamine alkaloid that is a dopamine D2 agonist. It suppresses prolactin secretion.IndazolesHistology, Comparative: The study of the similarities and differences in the structures of homologous tissues across various species.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.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.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.