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.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: 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.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.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.Corpus Luteum Maintenance: Process of maintaining the functions of CORPORA LUTEA, specifically PROGESTERONE production which is regulated primarily by pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in cycling females, and by PLACENTAL HORMONES in pregnant females. The ability to maintain luteal functions is important in PREGNANCY MAINTENANCE.Pseudopregnancy: An acyclic state that resembles PREGNANCY in that there is no ovarian cycle, ESTROUS CYCLE, or MENSTRUAL CYCLE. Unlike pregnancy, there is no EMBRYO IMPLANTATION. Pseudopregnancy can be experimentally induced to form DECIDUOMA in the UTERUS.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.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.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.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).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.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).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.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).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.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.Norandrostanes: Androstanes in which ring contractions have occurred or which are lacking carbon-18. Compounds with any degree of unsaturation are included. Androstanes which are lacking carbon-19 are ESTRANES.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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.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)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)Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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.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.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.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.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.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.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.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.Luteolytic Agents: Chemical compounds causing LUTEOLYSIS or degeneration.Corpus Luteum Hormones20-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 or to a 20-beta-hydroxysteroid (EC 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.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.Receptors, Estradiol: Cytoplasmic proteins that bind estradiol, migrate to the nucleus, and regulate DNA transcription.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).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)Diestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLES that follows METESTRUS. Diestrus is a period of sexual quiescence separating phases of ESTRUS in polyestrous animals.Colforsin: Potent activator of the adenylate cyclase system and the biosynthesis of cyclic AMP. From the plant COLEUS FORSKOHLII. Has antihypertensive, positive inotropic, platelet aggregation inhibitory, and smooth muscle relaxant activities; also lowers intraocular pressure and promotes release of hormones from the pituitary gland.Erythrosine: A tetraiodofluorescein used as a red coloring in some foods (cherries, fish), as a disclosure of DENTAL PLAQUE, and as a stain of some cell types. It has structural similarity to THYROXINE.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.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.Aminoglutethimide: An aromatase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of advanced BREAST CANCER.Enclomiphene: The trans or (E)-isomer of clomiphene.Dinoprostone: The most common and most biologically active of the mammalian prostaglandins. It exhibits most biological activities characteristic of prostaglandins and has been used extensively as an oxytocic agent. The compound also displays a protective effect on the intestinal mucosa.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.Hydroxycholesterols: Cholesterol which is substituted by a hydroxy group in any position.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.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.Prostanoic Acids: 2-Octylcyclopentaneheptanoic acids. The family of saturated carbon-20 cyclic fatty acids that represent the parent compounds of the prostaglandins.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Receptors, Prostaglandin: Cell surface receptors that bind prostaglandins with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. Prostaglandin receptor subtypes have been tentatively named according to their relative affinities for the endogenous prostaglandins. They include those which prefer prostaglandin D2 (DP receptors), prostaglandin E2 (EP1, EP2, and EP3 receptors), prostaglandin F2-alpha (FP receptors), and prostacyclin (IP receptors).DNA Fragmentation: Splitting the DNA into shorter pieces by endonucleolytic DNA CLEAVAGE at multiple sites. It includes the internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, which along with chromatin condensation, are considered to be the hallmarks of APOPTOSIS.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.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.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.Cloprostenol: A synthetic prostaglandin F2alpha analog. The compound has luteolytic effects and is used for the synchronization of estrus in cattle.Endothelium: A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (ENDOTHELIUM, VASCULAR), lymph vessels (ENDOTHELIUM, LYMPHATIC), and the serous cavities of the body.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.Neurophysins: Carrier proteins for OXYTOCIN and VASOPRESSIN. They are polypeptides of about 10-kDa, synthesized in the HYPOTHALAMUS. Neurophysin I is associated with oxytocin and neurophysin II is associated with vasopressin in their respective precursors and during transportation down the axons to the neurohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, POSTERIOR).Receptors, Prolactin: Labile proteins on or in prolactin-sensitive cells that bind prolactin initiating the cells' physiological response to that hormone. Mammary casein synthesis is one of the responses. The receptors are also found in placenta, liver, testes, kidneys, ovaries, and other organs and bind and respond to certain other hormones and their analogs and antagonists. This receptor is related to the growth hormone receptor.Callithrix: A genus of the subfamily CALLITRICHINAE occurring in forests of Brazil and Bolivia and containing seventeen species.Cell Size: The quantity of volume or surface area of CELLS.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.