Luteinizing hormone inhibits conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone in luteal cells from rats on day 19 of pregnancy. (1/488)

We have previously reported that intrabursal ovarian administration of LH at the end of pregnancy in rats induces a decrease in luteal progesterone (P4) synthesis and an increase in P4 metabolism. However, whether this local luteolytic effect of LH is exerted directly on luteal cells or on other structures, such as follicular or stromal cells, to modify luteal function is unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of LH on isolated luteal cells obtained on Day 19 of pregnancy. Incubation of luteal cells with 1, 10, 100, or 1000 ng/ml of ovine LH (oLH) for 6 h did not modify basal P4 production. The addition to the culture medium of 22(R)-hydroxycholesterol (22R-HC, 10 microgram/ml), a membrane-permeable P4 precursor, or pregnenolone (10(-2) microM) induced a significant increase in P4 accumulation in the medium in relation to the control value. When luteal cells were preincubated for 2 h with oLH, a significant (p < 0.01) reduction in the 22R-HC- or pregnenolone-stimulated P4 accumulation was observed. Incubation of luteal cells with dibutyryl cAMP (1 mM, a cAMP analogue) plus isobutylmethylxanthine (1 mM, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor) also inhibited pregnenolone-stimulated P4 accumulation. Incubation with an inositol triphosphate synthesis inhibitor, neomycin (1 mM), or an inhibitor of intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, (8,9-N, N-diethylamino)octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate (1 mM), did not prevent the decrease in pregnenolone-stimulated P4 secretion induced by oLH. It was concluded that the luteolytic action of LH in late pregnancy is due, at least in part, to a direct action on the luteal cells and that an increase in intracellular cAMP level might mediate this effect.  (+info)

Lack of zonal uptake of estrone sulfate in enriched periportal and perivenous isolated rat hepatocytes. (2/488)

The zonal uptake of estrone sulfate (E1S; 1 to 400 microM) was investigated in periportal and perivenous rat hepatocytes and cells isolated from whole liver (regular hepatocytes). Transport of E1S by periportal, perivenous, and regular hepatocytes was described by saturable (Kms of 24 to 26 microM and Vmaxs of 1.8 nmol/min/mg protein) and nonsaturable components (2.5 to 3.2 microl/min/mg protein) that were not different among the zonal regions (p >.05, ANOVA). These kinetic constants represented pooled values for the entire complement of transporters for E1S, including two known transporters of E1S: Ntcp, Na+-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide, and oatp1, the organic anion transporting polypeptide cloned from rat liver. Uptake of E1S was significantly reduced by estradiol 17beta-glucuronide (50 microM) and bumetanide (200 microM), and was inhibited strongly and competitively by pregnenolone sulfate with an inhibition constant of 6.7 microM. Further segregation of the kinetic constants as the sodium-dependent and -independent systems was achieved through simultaneous fitting of data obtained in the presence and absence of sodium from parallel hepatocytic uptake studies. For the periportal, perivenous, and regular hepatocytes, two saturable systems: a sodium-dependent transport system, characterized by similar Vmaxs (1.1 to 1.4 nmol/min/mg protein) and Kms (49 to 55 microM), a sodium-independent transport system of comparable Vmaxs (0.70 to 0.84 nmol/min/mg protein) and Kms (16 to 22 microM), and a linear clearance of 1.7 to 2.7 microl/min/mg protein (ANOVA, p >.05) were obtained. The data suggest that hepatic uptake of E1S involved sodium-dependent and -independent transporter systems. No heterogeneity in transport was observed.  (+info)

Short-time effects of neuroactive steroids on rat cortical Ca2+-ATPase activity. (3/488)

Recent experimental evidence indicates that some steroid hormones, apart from their well-documented genomic actions, could produce non-genomic rapid effects, and are potent modulators of the plasma membrane proteins, including voltage- and ligand-operated ion channels or G protein-coupled receptors. Neuroactive steroids, 17beta-estradiol, testosterone, pregnenolone sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, after a short-time incubation directly modulated the activity of plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase purified from synaptosomal membranes of rat cortex. The sulfate derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone and pregnenolone applied at concentrations of 10-11-10-6 M, showed an inverted U-shape potency in the regulation of Ca2+-ATPase activity. At physiologically relevant concentrations (10-8-10-9 M) a maximal enhancement of the basal activity reached 200%. Testosterone (10-11-10-6 M) and 17beta-estradiol (10-12-10-9 M) caused a dose-dependent increase in the hydrolytic ability of Ca2+-ATPase, and the activity with the highest concentration of steroids reached 470% and 200%, respectively. All examined steroids decreased the stimulatory effect of a naturally existing activator of the calcium pump, calmodulin. The present study strongly suggests that the plasma membrane calcium pump could be one of the possible membrane targets for a non-genomic neuroactive steroid action.  (+info)

Effect of DL111-IT on progesterone biosynthesis and viability of rat luteal cells in vitro. (4/488)

AIM: To study the influence of DL111-IT on progesterone biosynthesis of cultured luteal cells (LC). METHODS: LC viability was assessed with trypan blue dye exclusion and progesterone concentration was measured with radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: DL111-IT decreased the viability of LC after 24-h incubation, its ED50 being 7.7 (95% confidence limits: 7.1-8.5) mg.L-1. DL111-IT inhibited basal secretion of progesterone in a concentration-dependent manner, and 3 mg.L-1 decreased progesterone concentration by 25% vs control. DL111-IT 3 mg.L-1 also inhibited the stimulatory effect of forskolin (cAMP activator) 10 mumol.L-1 and pregnenolone [converted to progesterone by 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase complex (3 beta-HSD)] 10 mumol.L-1 on progesterone production in cultured LC, and their inhibitory rates were 43% and 155%, respectively. At the same concentration, DL111-IT did not influence hCG-induced progesterone production. CONCLUSION: DL111-IT inhibited progesterone synthesis by suppressing the conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone (inactivating 3 beta-HSD) and suppressed the activity of cAMP. DL111-IT 6-24 mg.L-1 decreased the viability of LC.  (+info)

Pregnenolone esterification in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A potential detoxification mechanism. (5/488)

While studying the effect of steroids on the growth of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we found that pregnenolone was converted into the acetate ester. This reaction was identified as a transfer of the acetyl group from acetyl-CoA to the 3beta-hydroxyl group of pregnenolone. The corresponding enzyme, acetyl-CoA:pregnenolone acetyltransferase (APAT) is specific for Delta5- or Delta4-3beta-hydroxysteroids and short-chain acyl-CoAs. The apparent Km for pregnenolone is approximately 0.5 microm. The protein associated with APAT activity was partially purified and finally isolated from an SDS/polyacrylamide gel. Tryptic peptides were generated and N-terminally sequenced. Two peptide sequences allowed the identification of an open reading frame (YGR177c, in the S. cerevisiae genome database) translating into a 62-kDa protein of hitherto unknown function. This protein encoded by a gene known as ATF2 displays 37% identity with an alcohol acetyltransferase encoded by the yeast gene ATF1. Disruption of ATF2 led to the complete elimination of APAT activity and consequently abolished the esterification of pregnenolone. In addition, a toxic effect of pregnenolone linked to the disruption of ATF2 was observed. Pregnenolone toxicity is more pronounced when the atf2-Delta mutation is introduced in a yeast strain devoid of the ATP-binding cassette transporters, PDR5 and SNQ2. Our results suggest that Atf2p (APAT) plays an active role in the detoxification of 3beta-hydroxysteroids in association with the efflux pumps Pdr5p and Snq2p.  (+info)

The concentration of adrenodoxin reductase limits cytochrome p450scc activity in the human placenta. (6/488)

We have previously reported that cytochrome P450scc activity in the human placenta is limited by the supply of electrons to the P450scc [Tuckey, R. C., Woods, S. T. & Tajbakhsh, M. (1997) Eur. J. Biochem. 244, 835-839]. The aim of the present study was to determine whether it is adrenodoxin reductase, adrenodoxin or both which limits cytochrome P450scc activity and hence progesterone synthesis in the placenta. We found that the concentrations of adrenodoxin reductase and adrenodoxin in placental mitochondria were both considerably lower than the concentrations of these proteins in the bovine adrenal cortex. When P450scc activity assays were carried out at high mitochondrial protein concentrations, we found that the addition of exogenous adrenodoxin reductase to sonicated mitochondria rescued pregnenolone synthesis to a level above that for intact mitochondria, showing that adrenodoxin is near-saturating in vivo. In contrast, pregnenolone synthesis by sonicated mitochondria was almost zero even after the addition of human adrenodoxin. This shows that the concentration of endogenous adrenodoxin reductase was insufficient to support appreciable rates of pregnenolone synthesis, even when concentrated mitochondrial samples were used. Comparative studies with human and bovine adrenodoxin reductase have revealed that a twofold higher concentration of human adrenodoxin reductase is required for maximal P450scc activity in the presence of saturating human adrenodoxin. Thus, not only is the adrenodoxin concentration low in placental mitochondria, but the amount required for maximal P450scc activity is higher than that for the bovine reductase. Overall, the data indicate that the adrenodoxin reductase concentration limits the activity of P450scc in placental mitochondria and hence determines the rate of progesterone synthesis.  (+info)

Identification by chimera formation and site-selected mutagenesis of a key amino acid residue involved in determining stereospecificity of guinea pig 3-hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase isoforms. (7/488)

The 3-hydroxysteroid sulfotransferases that have been isolated and cloned from humans and rodents appear to have broad substrate specificities. In the guinea pig, however, two 3-hydroxysteroid sulfotransferases have been isolated that function according to an innate stereospecificity: the alpha-isoform acts on steroids with a 3-hydroxyl group oriented in the alpha position, whereas the beta-isoform acts on steroids where the 3-hydroxyl group is in a beta orientation. To examine the structural basis for this remarkable stereoselectivity, chimeras of the two enzymes, which are 87% identical, were constructed. A chimera consisting of the NH(2)-terminal 91 amino acids of the alpha-isoform and the COOH-terminal 196 amino acids of the beta-isoform displayed activity similar to that of the alpha-isoform. Site-selected mutagenesis of this 3alpha/beta-hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase chimera involving the 12 amino acid differences that exist between the two isoforms within the 91 amino acid NH(2)-terminal region revealed that the amino acid residue at position 51 plays a fundamental role in determining the stereospecificity exhibited by the alpha- and beta-isoforms, i.e. if residue 51 is an asparagine, alpha activity predominates, whereas if an isoleucine is in that position, beta activity prevails.  (+info)

Response-rate suppression in operant paradigm as predictor of soporific potency in rats and identification of three novel sedative-hypnotic neuroactive steroids. (8/488)

Novel neuroactive steroids were evaluated for their effects on operant responding, rotorod motor performance, and electroencephalogram recording in rats. Co 134444, Co 177843, and Co 127501 were compared with the prototypical gamma-aminobutyric acid(A)-positive allosteric modulators triazolam, zolpidem, pentobarbital, pregnanolone, and CCD 3693. Each of the compounds produced a dose-related decrease in response rates under a variable-interval 2-min schedule of positive reinforcement in an operant paradigm. In addition, all compounds produced a dose-related increase in ataxia and significant increases in nonrapid eye movement sleep in this experiment or have been previously reported to do so. Co 134444, Co 177843, and Co 127501 increased nonrapid eye movement sleep at doses that had no effect on rapid eye movement sleep. All of the compounds were more potent at decreasing operant responding than they were at increasing ataxia. Furthermore, the potency of compounds to produce response-rate suppression in an operant paradigm appeared to be a better predictor of soporific potency than did potency in the rotorod assay. The screening for sedative-hypnotic activity resulted in the identification of the novel orally active neuroactive steroids Co 134444, Co 177843, and Co 127501.  (+info)