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.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.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.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, 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.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.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.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.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.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.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.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.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.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.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.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.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.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.Receptors, FSH: Cell surface proteins that bind FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.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).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).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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).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.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.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.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.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.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Gonadotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that can produce both FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE.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.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, respectivelyPituitary 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.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.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.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.Fertility Agents, Female: Compounds which increase the capacity to conceive in females.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.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.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.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)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.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.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.Castration: Surgical removal or artificial destruction of gonads.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.Pregnancy Tests: Tests to determine whether or not an individual is pregnant.Horses: Large, hoofed mammals of the family EQUIDAE. Horses are active day and night with most of the day spent seeking and consuming food. Feeding peaks occur in the early morning and late afternoon, and there are several daily periods of rest.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)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.Kisspeptins: Intercellular signaling peptides that were originally characterized by their ability to suppress NEOPLASM METASTASIS. Kisspeptins have since been found to play an important role in the neuroendocrine regulation of REPRODUCTION.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.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).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.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.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.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.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.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.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.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).Insemination, Artificial: Artificial introduction of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)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.Orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.Follicular Atresia: The degeneration and resorption of an OVARIAN FOLLICLE before it reaches maturity and ruptures.Reproductive Control Agents: Substances used either in the prevention or facilitation of pregnancy.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.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.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.Diestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLES that follows METESTRUS. Diestrus is a period of sexual quiescence separating phases of ESTRUS in polyestrous animals.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.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.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.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.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).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.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th 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).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.Hormones, Ectopic: Hormones released from neoplasms or from other cells that are not the usual sources of hormones.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.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.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.Uterine Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the UTERUS.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.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.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).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.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.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.Dihydrotestosterone: A potent androgenic metabolite of TESTOSTERONE. It is produced by the action of the enzyme 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.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.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.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.Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Human: A major gonadotropin secreted by the human adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and the LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. The alpha subunit is common in the three human pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.alpha-Fetoproteins: The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during FETAL DEVELOPMENT and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life.Gonads: The gamete-producing glands, OVARY or TESTIS.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.Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System: A collection of NEURONS, tracts of NERVE FIBERS, endocrine tissue, and blood vessels in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal circulation provides the mechanism for hypothalamic neuroendocrine (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) regulation of pituitary function and the release of various PITUITARY HORMONES into the systemic circulation to maintain HOMEOSTASIS.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.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).Perissodactyla: An order of ungulates having an odd number of toes, including the horse, tapir, and rhinoceros. (Dorland, 27th ed)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.Placental Lactogen: A polypeptide hormone of approximately 25 kDa that is produced by the SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS of the PLACENTA, also known as chorionic somatomammotropin. It has both GROWTH HORMONE and PROLACTIN activities on growth, lactation, and luteal steroid production. In women, placental lactogen secretion begins soon after implantation and increases to 1 g or more a day in late pregnancy. Placental lactogen is also an insulin antagonist.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Oocyte Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable OOCYTES from the host. Oocytes most often are collected by needle aspiration from OVARIAN FOLLICLES before OVULATION.Puberty, Delayed: The lack of development of SEXUAL MATURATION in boys and girls at a chronological age that is 2.5 standard deviations above the mean age at onset of PUBERTY in a population. Delayed puberty can be classified by defects in the hypothalamic LHRH pulse generator, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the GONADS. These patients will undergo spontaneous but delayed puberty whereas patients with SEXUAL INFANTILISM will not.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.Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A complication of OVULATION INDUCTION in infertility treatment. It is graded by the severity of symptoms which include OVARY enlargement, multiple OVARIAN FOLLICLES; OVARIAN CYSTS; ASCITES; and generalized EDEMA. The full-blown syndrome may lead to RENAL FAILURE, respiratory distress, and even DEATH. Increased capillary permeability is caused by the vasoactive substances, such as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS, secreted by the overly-stimulated OVARIES.Triptorelin Pamoate: A potent synthetic long-acting agonist of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-tryptophan substitution at residue 6.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.Hypothalamic Hormones: Peptide hormones produced by NEURONS of various regions in the HYPOTHALAMUS. They are released into the pituitary portal circulation to stimulate or inhibit PITUITARY GLAND functions. VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN, though produced in the hypothalamus, are not included here for they are transported down the AXONS to the POSTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY before being released into the portal circulation.Thecoma: A gonadal stromal neoplasm composed only of THECA CELLS, occurring mostly in the postmenopausal OVARY. It is filled with lipid-containing spindle cells and produces ESTROGENS that can lead to ENDOMETRIAL HYPERPLASIA; UTERINE HEMORRHAGE; or other malignancies in postmenopausal women and sexual precocity in girls. When tumors containing theca cells also contain FIBROBLASTS, they are identified as thecoma-fibroma tumors with less active hormone production.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.Median Eminence: Raised area at the infundibular region of the HYPOTHALAMUS at the floor of the BRAIN, ventral to the THIRD VENTRICLE and adjacent to the ARCUATE NUCLEUS OF HYPOTHALAMUS. It contains the terminals of hypothalamic neurons and the capillary network of hypophyseal portal system, thus serving as a neuroendocrine link between the brain and the PITUITARY GLAND.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.Pituitary Hormones: Hormones secreted by the PITUITARY GLAND including those from the anterior lobe (adenohypophysis), the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis), and the ill-defined intermediate lobe. Structurally, they include small peptides, proteins, and glycoproteins. They are under the regulation of neural signals (NEUROTRANSMITTERS) or neuroendocrine signals (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) from the hypothalamus as well as feedback from their targets such as ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES; ANDROGENS; ESTROGENS.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.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.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.Infertility: Inability to reproduce after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Reproductive sterility is permanent infertility.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.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.Buserelin: A potent synthetic analog of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-serine substitution at residue 6, glycine10 deletion, and other modifications.Pituitary Hormones, Anterior: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Structurally, they include polypeptide, protein, and glycoprotein molecules.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).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.Oncorhynchus kisutch: An anadromous species of SALMON ranging from the Arctic and Pacific Oceans to Monterey Bay, California and inhabiting ocean and coastal streams. It is familiarly known as the coho or silver salmon. It is relatively small but its light-colored flesh is of good flavor.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.Endocrine Glands: Ductless glands that secrete HORMONES directly into the BLOOD CIRCULATION. These hormones influence the METABOLISM and other functions of cells in the body.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.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.Activins: Activins are produced in the pituitary, gonads, and other tissues. By acting locally, they stimulate pituitary FSH secretion and have diverse effects on cell differentiation and embryonic development. Activins are glycoproteins that are hetero- or homodimers of INHIBIN-BETA SUBUNITS.Follistatin: A broadly distributed protein that binds directly to ACTIVINS. It functions as an activin antagonist, inhibits FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion, regulates CELL DIFFERENTIATION, and plays an important role in embryogenesis. Follistatin is a single glycosylated polypeptide chain of approximately 37-kDa and is not a member of the inhibin family (INHIBINS). Follistatin also binds and neutralizes many members of the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA family.Spermatogenesis-Blocking Agents: Chemical substances which inhibit the process of spermatozoa formation at either the first stage, in which spermatogonia develop into spermatocytes and then into spermatids, or the second stage, in which spermatids transform into spermatozoa.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.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Acinonyx: A genus of long-legged, swift-moving felines (FELIDAE) from Africa (and formerly Asia) about the size of a small leopard.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.Neurokinin B: A mammalian neuropeptide of 10 amino acids that belongs to the tachykinin family. It is similar in structure and action to SUBSTANCE P and NEUROKININ A with the ability to excite neurons, dilate blood vessels, and contract smooth muscles, such as those in the URINARY BLADDER and UTERUS.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)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.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.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.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 Tests, Immunologic: Methods of detecting pregnancy by examining the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in plasma or urine.Growth Hormone: A polypeptide that is secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, stimulates mitosis, cell differentiation and cell growth. Species-specific growth hormones have been synthesized.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A complex disorder characterized by infertility, HIRSUTISM; OBESITY; and various menstrual disturbances such as OLIGOMENORRHEA; AMENORRHEA; ANOVULATION. Polycystic ovary syndrome is usually associated with bilateral enlarged ovaries studded with atretic follicles, not with cysts. The term, polycystic ovary, is misleading.Puberty: A period in the human life in which the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal system takes place and reaches full maturity. The onset of synchronized endocrine events in puberty lead to the capacity for reproduction (FERTILITY), development of secondary SEX CHARACTERISTICS, and other changes seen in ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT.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.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)Immunoradiometric Assay: Form of radioimmunoassay in which excess specific labeled antibody is added directly to the test antigen being measured.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.Amenorrhea: Absence of menstruation.Metestrus: The period following ESTRUS during which the phenomena of estrus subside in those animals in which pregnancy or pseudopregnancy does not occur.Sertoli Cells: Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Follicular Cyst: Cyst due to the occlusion of the duct of a follicle or small gland.Contraceptive Agents, Male: Chemical substances or agents with contraceptive activity in males. Use for male contraceptive agents in general or for which there is no specific heading.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.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.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.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.Gonadal Hormones: Hormones produced by the GONADS, including both steroid and peptide hormones. The major steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL and PROGESTERONE from the OVARY, and TESTOSTERONE from the TESTIS. The major peptide hormones include ACTIVINS and INHIBINS.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.Cryptorchidism: A developmental defect in which a TESTIS or both TESTES failed to descend from high in the ABDOMEN to the bottom of the SCROTUM. Testicular descent is essential to normal SPERMATOGENESIS which requires temperature lower than the BODY TEMPERATURE. Cryptorchidism can be subclassified by the location of the maldescended testis.Inhibin-beta Subunits: They are glycopeptides and subunits in INHIBINS and ACTIVINS. Inhibins and activins belong to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Mesocricetus: A genus of the family Muridae having three species. The present domesticated strains were developed from individuals brought from Syria. They are widely used in biomedical research.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).Phodopus: A genus of hamsters characterized by small size, very short tail, and short, broad feet with hairy soles.Norprogesterones: Progesterones which have undergone ring contraction or which are lacking carbon 18 or 19.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal: Non-steroidal chemical compounds with abortifacient activity.Anti-Mullerian Hormone: A glycoprotein that causes regression of MULLERIAN DUCTS. It is produced by SERTOLI CELLS of the TESTES. In the absence of this hormone, the Mullerian ducts develop into structures of the female reproductive tract. In males, defects of this hormone result in persistent Mullerian duct, a form of MALE PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITISM.Ovarian Diseases: Pathological processes of the OVARY.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.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.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).Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Vitellogenesis: The active production and accumulation of VITELLINS (egg yolk proteins) in the non-mammalian OOCYTES from circulating precursors, VITELLOGENINS. Vitellogenesis usually begins after the first MEIOSIS and is regulated by estrogenic hormones.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Neurosecretory Systems: A system of NEURONS that has the specialized function to produce and secrete HORMONES, and that constitutes, in whole or in part, an ENDOCRINE SYSTEM or organ.Postpartum Period: In females, the period that is shortly after giving birth (PARTURITION).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.Periodicity: The tendency of a phenomenon to recur at regular intervals; in biological systems, the recurrence of certain activities (including hormonal, cellular, neural) may be annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or more frequently (ultradian).Prenatal Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the postimplantation EMBRYO; FETUS; or pregnant female before birth.Drug Implants: Small containers or pellets of a solid drug implanted in the body to achieve sustained release of the drug.Photoperiod: The time period of daily exposure that an organism receives from daylight or artificial light. It is believed that photoperiodic responses may affect the control of energy balance and thermoregulation.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.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.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.Hypothalamus, Middle: Middle portion of the hypothalamus containing the arcuate, dorsomedial, ventromedial nuclei, the TUBER CINEREUM and the PITUITARY GLAND.