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.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.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.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.Progestins: Compounds that interact with PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of PROGESTERONE. Primary actions of progestins, including natural and synthetic steroids, are on the UTERUS and the MAMMARY GLAND in preparation for and in maintenance of PREGNANCY.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.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.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.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.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.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.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.Receptors, Estrogen: Cytoplasmic proteins that bind estrogens and migrate to the nucleus where they regulate DNA transcription. Evaluation of the state of estrogen receptors in breast cancer patients has become clinically important.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.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.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.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.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.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.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.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.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).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.Gonanes: Steroids containing the fundamental tetracyclic unit with no methyl groups at C-10 and C-13 and with no side chain at C-17. The concept includes both saturated and unsaturated derivatives.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).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.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.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.Norpregnadienes: Pregnadienes which have undergone ring contractions or are lacking carbon-18 or carbon-19.Oviducts: Ducts that serve exclusively for the passage of eggs from the ovaries to the exterior of the body. In non-mammals, they are termed oviducts. In mammals, they are highly specialized and known as FALLOPIAN TUBES.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)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).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.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.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.Castration: Surgical removal or artificial destruction of gonads.Administration, Intravaginal: The insertion of drugs into the vagina to treat local infections, neoplasms, or to induce labor. The dosage forms may include medicated pessaries, irrigation fluids, and suppositories.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.Breast Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the human BREAST.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).Myometrium: The smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.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.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.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.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.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.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.5-alpha-Dihydroprogesterone: A biologically active 5-alpha-reduced metabolite of plasma PROGESTERONE. It is the immediate precursor of 5-alpha-pregnan-3-alpha-ol-20-one (ALLOPREGNANOLONE), a neuroactive steroid that binds with GABA(A) RECEPTOR.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.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.Diestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLES that follows METESTRUS. Diestrus is a period of sexual quiescence separating phases of ESTRUS in polyestrous animals.Pregnancy Maintenance: Physiological mechanisms that sustain the state of PREGNANCY.Progesterone-Binding Globulin: A glycoprotein migrating as alpha 1-globulin, molecular weight 70,000 to 120,000. The protein, which is present in increased amounts in the plasma during pregnancy, binds mainly progesterone, with other steroids including testosterone competing weakly.Medroxyprogesterone: (6 alpha)-17-Hydroxy-6-methylpregn-4-ene-3,20-dione. A synthetic progestational hormone used in veterinary practice as an estrus regulator.Pregnanolone: A pregnane found in the urine of pregnant women and sows. It has anesthetic, hypnotic, and sedative properties.Progesterone Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of a 3 beta-hydroxy-delta(5)-steroid to 3-oxo-delta(4)-steroid in the presence of NAD. It converts pregnenolone to progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone to androstenedione. EC 1.1.1.145.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.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.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.Medroxyprogesterone Acetate: A synthetic progestin that is derived from 17-hydroxyprogesterone. It is a long-acting contraceptive that is effective both orally or by intramuscular injection and has also been used to treat breast and endometrial neoplasms.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.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.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.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.Labor, Obstetric: The repetitive uterine contraction during childbirth which is associated with the progressive dilation of the uterine cervix (CERVIX UTERI). Successful labor results in the expulsion of the FETUS and PLACENTA. Obstetric labor can be spontaneous or induced (LABOR, INDUCED).Pregnanediol: An inactive metabolite of PROGESTERONE by reduction at C5, C3, and C20 position. Pregnanediol has two hydroxyl groups, at 3-alpha and 20-alpha. It is detectable in URINE after OVULATION and is found in great quantities in the pregnancy urine.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Pregnanediones: Pregnane derivatives in which two side-chain methyl groups or two methylene groups in the ring skeleton (or a combination thereof) have been oxidized to keto groups.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.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.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.Postpartum Period: In females, the period that is shortly after giving birth (PARTURITION).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.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.17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone: A metabolite of PROGESTERONE with a hydroxyl group at the 17-alpha position. It serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of HYDROCORTISONE and GONADAL STEROID HORMONES.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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Receptors, Estradiol: Cytoplasmic proteins that bind estradiol, migrate to the nucleus, and regulate DNA transcription.Insemination, Artificial: Artificial introduction of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.Dydrogesterone: A synthetic progestational hormone with no androgenic or estrogenic properties. Unlike many other progestational compounds, dydrogesterone produces no increase in temperature and does not inhibit OVULATION.Decidua: The hormone-responsive glandular layer of ENDOMETRIUM that sloughs off at each menstrual flow (decidua menstrualis) or at the termination of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the thickest part of the decidua forms the maternal portion of the PLACENTA, thus named decidua placentalis. The thin portion of the decidua covering the rest of the embryo is the decidua capsularis.Receptors, Oxytocin: Cell surface proteins that bind oxytocin with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. Oxytocin receptors in the uterus and the mammary glands mediate the hormone's stimulation of contraction and milk ejection. The presence of oxytocin and oxytocin receptors in neurons of the brain probably reflects an additional role as a neurotransmitter.Drug Implants: Small containers or pellets of a solid drug implanted in the body to achieve sustained release of the drug.Pregnancy Tests: Tests to determine whether or not an individual is pregnant.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.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Estrogen Receptor alpha: One of the ESTROGEN RECEPTORS that has marked affinity for ESTRADIOL. Its expression and function differs from, and in some ways opposes, ESTROGEN RECEPTOR BETA.Norethindrone: A synthetic progestational hormone with actions similar to those of PROGESTERONE but functioning as a more potent inhibitor of ovulation. It has weak estrogenic and androgenic properties. The hormone has been used in treating amenorrhea, functional uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and for contraception.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.Estrenes: Unsaturated derivatives of the ESTRANES with methyl groups at carbon-13, with no carbon at carbon-10, and with no more than one carbon at carbon-17. They must contain one or more double bonds.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Embryo Implantation, Delayed: Delay in the attachment and implantation of BLASTOCYST to the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The blastocyst remains unattached beyond the normal duration thus delaying embryonic development.Pregnanes: Saturated derivatives of the steroid pregnane. The 5-beta series includes PROGESTERONE and related hormones; the 5-alpha series includes forms generally excreted in the urine.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).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.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.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).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.Mammary Glands, Animal: MAMMARY GLANDS in the non-human MAMMALS.Lactation: The processes of milk secretion by the maternal MAMMARY GLANDS after PARTURITION. The proliferation of the mammary glandular tissue, milk synthesis, and milk expulsion or let down are regulated by the interactions of several hormones including ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; PROLACTIN; and OXYTOCIN.Uterine Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the UTERUS.Pregnenediones: Unsaturated pregnane derivatives containing two keto groups on side chains or ring structures.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)Dihydrotestosterone: A potent androgenic metabolite of TESTOSTERONE. It is produced by the action of the enzyme 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE.Androstenols: Unsaturated androstanes which are substituted with one or more hydroxyl groups in any position in the ring system.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.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).Fallopian Tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.Tamoxifen: One of the SELECTIVE ESTROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS with tissue-specific activities. Tamoxifen acts as an anti-estrogen (inhibiting agent) in the mammary tissue, but as an estrogen (stimulating agent) in cholesterol metabolism, bone density, and cell proliferation in the ENDOMETRIUM.Metestrus: The period following ESTRUS during which the phenomena of estrus subside in those animals in which pregnancy or pseudopregnancy does not occur.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Estrogen Antagonists: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize the action or biosynthesis of estrogenic compounds.Anovulation: Suspension or cessation of OVULATION in animals or humans with follicle-containing ovaries (OVARIAN FOLLICLE). Depending on the etiology, OVULATION may be induced with appropriate therapy.Sexual Behavior, Animal: Sexual activities of animals.Pregnancy Proteins: Proteins produced by organs of the mother or the PLACENTA during PREGNANCY. These proteins may be pregnancy-specific (present only during pregnancy) or pregnancy-associated (present during pregnancy or under other conditions such as hormone therapy or certain malignancies.)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.Luteolytic Agents: Chemical compounds causing LUTEOLYSIS or degeneration.Chickens: Common name for the species Gallus gallus, the domestic fowl, in the family Phasianidae, order GALLIFORMES. It is descended from the red jungle fowl of SOUTHEAST ASIA.Diethylstilbestrol: A synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen used in the treatment of menopausal and postmenopausal disorders. It was also used formerly as a growth promoter in animals. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), diethylstilbestrol has been listed as a known carcinogen. (Merck, 11th ed)Uterine Contraction: Contraction of the UTERINE MUSCLE.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.Ovum Transport: Transport of the OVUM or fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) from the mammalian oviduct (FALLOPIAN TUBES) to the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION in the UTERUS.Receptor, erbB-2: A cell surface protein-tyrosine kinase receptor that is overexpressed in a variety of ADENOCARCINOMAS. It has extensive homology to and heterodimerizes with the EGF RECEPTOR, the ERBB-3 RECEPTOR, and the ERBB-4 RECEPTOR. Activation of the erbB-2 receptor occurs through heterodimer formation with a ligand-bound erbB receptor family member.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).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.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.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.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.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, respectivelyGene 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.Leiomyoma: A benign tumor derived from smooth muscle tissue, also known as a fibroid tumor. They rarely occur outside of the UTERUS and the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT but can occur in the SKIN and SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE, probably arising from the smooth muscle of small blood vessels in these tissues.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)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.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.Stimulation, Chemical: The increase in a measurable parameter of a PHYSIOLOGICAL PROCESS, including cellular, microbial, and plant; immunological, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, digestive, neural, musculoskeletal, ocular, and skin physiological processes; or METABOLIC PROCESS, including enzymatic and other pharmacological processes, by a drug or other chemical.Receptors, Glucocorticoid: Cytoplasmic proteins that specifically bind glucocorticoids and mediate their cellular effects. The glucocorticoid receptor-glucocorticoid complex acts in the nucleus to induce transcription of DNA. Glucocorticoids were named for their actions on blood glucose concentration, but they have equally important effects on protein and fat metabolism. Cortisol is the most important example.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.Contraceptive Agents, Female: Chemical substances or agents with contraceptive activity in females. Use for female contraceptive agents in general or for which there is no specific heading.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Cloprostenol: A synthetic prostaglandin F2alpha analog. The compound has luteolytic effects and is used for the synchronization of estrus in cattle.Endometrial Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of ENDOMETRIUM, the mucous lining of the UTERUS. These neoplasms can be benign or malignant. Their classification and grading are based on the various cell types and the percent of undifferentiated cells.Norgestrel: A synthetic progestational agent with actions similar to those of PROGESTERONE. This racemic or (+-)-form has about half the potency of the levo form (LEVONORGESTREL). Norgestrel is used as a contraceptive, ovulation inhibitor, and for the control of menstrual disorders and endometriosis.Stromal Cells: Connective tissue cells of an organ found in the loose connective tissue. These are most often associated with the uterine mucosa and the ovary as well as the hematopoietic system and elsewhere.Estradiol Antagonists: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize the biosynthesis or action of estradiol.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.Aminoglutethimide: An aromatase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of advanced BREAST CANCER.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.Cytosol: Intracellular fluid from the cytoplasm after removal of ORGANELLES and other insoluble cytoplasmic components.Transcortin: A serpin family member that binds to and transports GLUCOCORTICOIDS in the BLOOD.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.Random Allocation: A process involving chance used in therapeutic trials or other research endeavor for allocating experimental subjects, human or animal, between treatment and control groups, or among treatment groups. It may also apply to experiments on inanimate objects.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Estrogen Receptor beta: One of the ESTROGEN RECEPTORS that has greater affinity for ISOFLAVONES than ESTROGEN RECEPTOR ALPHA does. There is great sequence homology with ER alpha in the DNA-binding domain but not in the ligand binding and hinge domains.Parturition: The process of giving birth to one or more offspring.Premenstrual Syndrome: A combination of distressing physical, psychologic, or behavioral changes that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms of PMS are diverse (such as pain, water-retention, anxiety, cravings, and depression) and they diminish markedly 2 or 3 days after the initiation of menses.Levonorgestrel: A synthetic progestational hormone with actions similar to those of PROGESTERONE and about twice as potent as its racemic or (+-)-isomer (NORGESTREL). It is used for contraception, control of menstrual disorders, and treatment of endometriosis.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.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Marsupialia: An infraclass of MAMMALS, also called Metatheria, where the young are born at an early stage of development and continue to develop in a pouch (marsupium). In contrast to Eutheria (placentals), marsupials have an incomplete PLACENTA.Pessaries: Devices worn in the vagina to provide support to displaced uterus or rectum. Pessaries are used in conditions such as UTERINE PROLAPSE; CYSTOCELE; or RECTOCELE.Acrosome Reaction: Changes that occur to liberate the enzymes of the ACROSOME of a sperm (SPERMATOZOA). Acrosome reaction allows the sperm to penetrate the ZONA PELLUCIDA and enter the OVUM during FERTILIZATION.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.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.Bromocriptine: A semisynthetic ergotamine alkaloid that is a dopamine D2 agonist. It suppresses prolactin secretion.Sesame Oil: The refined fixed oil obtained from the seed of one or more cultivated varieties of Sesamum indicum. It is used as a solvent and oleaginous vehicle for drugs and has been used internally as a laxative and externally as a skin softener. It is used also in the manufacture of margarine, soap, and cosmetics. (Dorland, 28th ed & Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast: An invasive (infiltrating) CARCINOMA of the mammary ductal system (MAMMARY GLANDS) in the human BREAST.Hysterectomy: Excision of the uterus.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.Reproductive Control Agents: Substances used either in the prevention or facilitation of pregnancy.Vagina: The genital canal in the female, extending from the UTERUS to the VULVA. (Stedman, 25th ed)Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Digitalis: A genus of toxic herbaceous Eurasian plants of the Plantaginaceae which yield cardiotonic DIGITALIS GLYCOSIDES. The most useful species are Digitalis lanata and D. purpurea.Receptors, Steroid: Proteins found usually in the cytoplasm or nucleus that specifically bind steroid hormones and trigger changes influencing the behavior of cells. The steroid receptor-steroid hormone complex regulates the transcription of specific genes.Estrogen Replacement Therapy: The use of hormonal agents with estrogen-like activity in postmenopausal or other estrogen-deficient women to alleviate effects of hormone deficiency, such as vasomotor symptoms, DYSPAREUNIA, and progressive development of OSTEOPOROSIS. This may also include the use of progestational agents in combination therapy.Macropodidae: A family of herbivorous leaping MAMMALS of Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands. Members include kangaroos, wallabies, quokkas, and wallaroos.Cervix Uteri: The neck portion of the UTERUS between the lower isthmus and the VAGINA forming the cervical canal.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)Vaginal Creams, Foams, and Jellies: Medicated dosage forms for topical application in the vagina. A cream is a semisolid emulsion containing suspended or dissolved medication; a foam is a dispersion of a gas in a medicated liquid resulting in a light, frothy mass; a jelly is a colloidal semisolid mass of a water soluble medicated material, usually translucent.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.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.Receptors, Androgen: Proteins, generally found in the CYTOPLASM, that specifically bind ANDROGENS and mediate their cellular actions. The complex of the androgen and receptor migrates to the CELL NUCLEUS where it induces transcription of specific segments of DNA.Immunoenzyme Techniques: Immunologic techniques based on the use of: (1) enzyme-antibody conjugates; (2) enzyme-antigen conjugates; (3) antienzyme antibody followed by its homologous enzyme; or (4) enzyme-antienzyme complexes. These are used histologically for visualizing or labeling tissue specimens.Menopause: The last menstrual period. Permanent cessation of menses (MENSTRUATION) is usually defined after 6 to 12 months of AMENORRHEA in a woman over 45 years of age. In the United States, menopause generally occurs in women between 48 and 55 years of age.Ki-67 Antigen: A CELL CYCLE and tumor growth marker which can be readily detected using IMMUNOCYTOCHEMISTRY methods. Ki-67 is a nuclear antigen present only in the nuclei of cycling cells.Body Fluids: Liquid components of living organisms.Postmenopause: The physiological period following the MENOPAUSE, the permanent cessation of the menstrual life.Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Tumor Markers, Biological: Molecular products metabolized and secreted by neoplastic tissue and characterized biochemically in cells or body fluids. They are indicators of tumor stage and grade as well as useful for monitoring responses to treatment and predicting recurrence. Many chemical groups are represented including hormones, antigens, amino and nucleic acids, enzymes, polyamines, and specific cell membrane proteins and lipids.Papio: A genus of the subfamily CERCOPITHECINAE, family CERCOPITHECIDAE, consisting of five named species: PAPIO URSINUS (chacma baboon), PAPIO CYNOCEPHALUS (yellow baboon), PAPIO PAPIO (western baboon), PAPIO ANUBIS (or olive baboon), and PAPIO HAMADRYAS (hamadryas baboon). Members of the Papio genus inhabit open woodland, savannahs, grassland, and rocky hill country. Some authors consider MANDRILLUS a subgenus of Papio.Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Enzymes of the oxidoreductase class that catalyze the dehydrogenation of hydroxysteroids. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 1.1.-.Estrus Detection: Methods for recognizing the state of ESTRUS.Depression, Chemical: The decrease in a measurable parameter of a PHYSIOLOGICAL PROCESS, including cellular, microbial, and plant; immunological, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, digestive, neural, musculoskeletal, ocular, and skin physiological processes; or METABOLIC PROCESS, including enzymatic and other pharmacological processes, by a drug or other chemical.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.Secretory Rate: The amount of a substance secreted by cells or by a specific organ or organism over a given period of time; usually applies to those substances which are formed by glandular tissues and are released by them into biological fluids, e.g., secretory rate of corticosteroids by the adrenal cortex, secretory rate of gastric acid by the gastric mucosa.Megestrol: 17-Hydroxy-6-methylpregna-3,6-diene-3,20-dione. A progestational hormone used most commonly as the acetate ester. As the acetate, it is more potent than progesterone both as a progestagen and as an ovulation inhibitor. It has also been used in the palliative treatment of breast cancer.Endometriosis: A condition in which functional endometrial tissue is present outside the UTERUS. It is often confined to the PELVIS involving the OVARY, the ligaments, cul-de-sac, and the uterovesical peritoneum.Ovarian Cysts: General term for CYSTS and cystic diseases of the OVARY.17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: A class of enzymes that catalyzes the oxidation of 17-hydroxysteroids to 17-ketosteroids. EC 1.1.-.