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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, GABA-A: Cell surface proteins which bind GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and contain an integral membrane chloride channel. Each receptor is assembled as a pentamer from a pool of at least 19 different possible subunits. The receptors belong to a superfamily that share a common CYSTEINE loop.Finasteride: An orally active 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE inhibitor. It is used as a surgical alternative for treatment of benign PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA.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)GABA-A Receptor Agonists: Endogenous compounds and drugs that bind to and activate GABA-A RECEPTORS.Androstenols: Unsaturated androstanes which are substituted with one or more hydroxyl groups in any position in the ring system.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.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.Neurotransmitter Agents: Substances used for their pharmacological actions on any aspect of neurotransmitter systems. Neurotransmitter agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation inhibitors, uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.GABA Modulators: Substances that do not act as agonists or antagonists but do affect the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID receptor-ionophore complex. GABA-A receptors (RECEPTORS, GABA-A) appear to have at least three allosteric sites at which modulators act: a site at which BENZODIAZEPINES act by increasing the opening frequency of GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-activated chloride channels; a site at which BARBITURATES act to prolong the duration of channel opening; and a site at which some steroids may act. GENERAL ANESTHETICS probably act at least partly by potentiating GABAergic responses, but they are not included here.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.5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors: Drugs that inhibit 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE. They are commonly used to reduce the production of DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE.Desoxycorticosterone: A steroid metabolite that is the 11-deoxy derivative of CORTICOSTERONE and the 21-hydroxy derivative of PROGESTERONE.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.GABA-A Receptor Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate GABA-A RECEPTORS thereby blocking the actions of endogenous or exogenous GABA-A RECEPTOR AGONISTS.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.17-alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid that is converted from PREGNENOLONE by STEROID 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYLASE. It is an intermediate in the delta-5 pathway of biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.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.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.Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate: The circulating form of a major C19 steroid produced primarily by the ADRENAL CORTEX. DHEA sulfate serves as a precursor for TESTOSTERONE; ANDROSTENEDIONE; ESTRADIOL; and ESTRONE.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase: An enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of TESTOSTERONE to 5-ALPHA DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE.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.Kindling, Neurologic: The repeated weak excitation of brain structures, that progressively increases sensitivity to the same stimulation. Over time, this can lower the threshold required to trigger seizures.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.3-alpha-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase (B-Specific): A 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase which catalyzes the reversible reduction of the active androgen, DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE to 5 ALPHA-ANDROSTANE-3 ALPHA,17 BETA-DIOL. It also has activity towards other 3-alpha-hydroxysteroids and on 9-, 11- and 15- hydroxyprostaglandins. The enzyme is B-specific in reference to the orientation of reduced NAD or NADPH.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.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.Anesthetics: Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general ANESTHESIA, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site.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.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.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.Androstane-3,17-diol: The unspecified form of the steroid, normally a major metabolite of TESTOSTERONE with androgenic activity. It has been implicated as a regulator of gonadotropin secretion.Diazepam: A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID activity.Androsterone: A metabolite of TESTOSTERONE or ANDROSTENEDIONE with a 3-alpha-hydroxyl group and without the double bond. The 3-beta hydroxyl isomer is epiandrosterone.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.Convulsants: Substances that act in the brain stem or spinal cord to produce tonic or clonic convulsions, often by removing normal inhibitory tone. They were formerly used to stimulate respiration or as antidotes to barbiturate overdose. They are now most commonly used as experimental tools.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.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Receptors, sigma: A class of cell surface receptors recognized by its pharmacological profile. Sigma receptors were originally considered to be opioid receptors because they bind certain synthetic opioids. However they also interact with a variety of other psychoactive drugs, and their endogenous ligand is not known (although they can react to certain endogenous steroids). Sigma receptors are found in the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems, and in some peripheral tissues.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.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.GABA Agonists: Endogenous compounds and drugs that bind to and activate GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID receptors (RECEPTORS, GABA).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.GABA Agents: Substances used for their pharmacological actions on GABAergic systems. GABAergic agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation or uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.Early Growth Response Protein 3: An early growth response transcription factor that is essential for the development of MUSCLE SPINDLES.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.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.Aziridines: Saturated azacyclopropane compounds. They include compounds with substitutions on CARBON or NITROGEN atoms.Muscimol: A neurotoxic isoxazole isolated from species of AMANITA. It is obtained by decarboxylation of IBOTENIC ACID. Muscimol is a potent agonist of GABA-A RECEPTORS and is used mainly as an experimental tool in animal and tissue studies.Anti-Anxiety Agents: Agents that alleviate ANXIETY, tension, and ANXIETY DISORDERS, promote sedation, and have a calming effect without affecting clarity of consciousness or neurologic conditions. ADRENERGIC BETA-ANTAGONISTS are commonly used in the symptomatic treatment of anxiety but are not included here.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).Pentylenetetrazole: A pharmaceutical agent that displays activity as a central nervous system and respiratory stimulant. It is considered a non-competitive GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID antagonist. Pentylenetetrazole has been used experimentally to study seizure phenomenon and to identify pharmaceuticals that may control seizure susceptibility.Flumazenil: A potent benzodiazepine receptor antagonist. Since it reverses the sedative and other actions of benzodiazepines, it has been suggested as an antidote to benzodiazepine overdoses.Anticonvulsants: Drugs used to prevent SEIZURES or reduce their severity.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.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.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.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).GABA Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate GABA RECEPTORS, thereby blocking the actions of endogenous GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and GABA RECEPTOR AGONISTS.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.Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic: A class of saturated compounds consisting of two rings only, having two or more atoms in common, containing at least one hetero atom, and that take the name of an open chain hydrocarbon containing the same total number of atoms. (From Riguady et al., Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry, 1979, p31)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.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.Xenopus laevis: The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.Picrotoxin: A noncompetitive antagonist at GABA-A receptors and thus a convulsant. Picrotoxin blocks the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-activated chloride ionophore. Although it is most often used as a research tool, it has been used as a CNS stimulant and an antidote in poisoning by CNS depressants, especially the barbiturates.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.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.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.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.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.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Seizures: Clinical or subclinical disturbances of cortical function due to a sudden, abnormal, excessive, and disorganized discharge of brain cells. Clinical manifestations include abnormal motor, sensory and psychic phenomena. Recurrent seizures are usually referred to as EPILEPSY or "seizure disorder."Protein Subunits: Single chains of amino acids that are the units of multimeric PROTEINS. Multimeric proteins can be composed of identical or non-identical subunits. One or more monomeric subunits may compose a protomer which itself is a subunit structure of a larger assembly.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.Neural Inhibition: The function of opposing or restraining the excitation of neurons or their target excitable cells.CA1 Region, Hippocampal: One of four subsections of the hippocampus described by Lorente de No, located furthest from the DENTATE GYRUS.Central Nervous System Depressants: A very loosely defined group of drugs that tend to reduce the activity of the central nervous system. The major groups included here are ethyl alcohol, anesthetics, hypnotics and sedatives, narcotics, and tranquilizing agents (antipsychotics and antianxiety agents).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.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.Receptors, GABA: Cell-surface proteins that bind GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID with high affinity and trigger changes that influence the behavior of cells. GABA-A receptors control chloride channels formed by the receptor complex itself. They are blocked by bicuculline and usually have modulatory sites sensitive to benzodiazepines and barbiturates. GABA-B receptors act through G-proteins on several effector systems, are insensitive to bicuculline, and have a high affinity for L-baclofen.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.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.Pentobarbital: A short-acting barbiturate that is effective as a sedative and hypnotic (but not as an anti-anxiety) agent and is usually given orally. It is prescribed more frequently for sleep induction than for sedation but, like similar agents, may lose its effectiveness by the second week of continued administration. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p236)Pregnancy Maintenance: Physiological mechanisms that sustain the state of PREGNANCY.Epilepsy: A disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of paroxysmal brain dysfunction due to a sudden, disorderly, and excessive neuronal discharge. Epilepsy classification systems are generally based upon: (1) clinical features of the seizure episodes (e.g., motor seizure), (2) etiology (e.g., post-traumatic), (3) anatomic site of seizure origin (e.g., frontal lobe seizure), (4) tendency to spread to other structures in the brain, and (5) temporal patterns (e.g., nocturnal epilepsy). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p313)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.Bicuculline: An isoquinoline alkaloid obtained from Dicentra cucullaria and other plants. It is a competitive antagonist for GABA-A receptors.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.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.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.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.Rats, Long-Evans: An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.Drug Interactions: The action of a drug that may affect the activity, metabolism, or toxicity of another drug.Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by affinity for N-methyl-D-aspartate. NMDA receptors have an allosteric binding site for glycine which must be occupied for the channel to open efficiently and a site within the channel itself to which magnesium ions bind in a voltage-dependent manner. The positive voltage dependence of channel conductance and the high permeability of the conducting channel to calcium ions (as well as to monovalent cations) are important in excitotoxicity and neuronal plasticity.Benzodiazepines: A group of two-ring heterocyclic compounds consisting of a benzene ring fused to a diazepine ring.Ethanol: A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.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.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.Mice, Inbred C57BLRNA, 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.Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.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.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Receptors, Progesterone: Specific proteins found in or on cells of progesterone target tissues that specifically combine with progesterone. The cytosol progesterone-receptor complex then associates with the nucleic acids to initiate protein synthesis. There are two kinds of progesterone receptors, A and B. Both are induced by estrogen and have short half-lives.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.Anxiety: Feeling or emotion of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with ANXIETY DISORDERS.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.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.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.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.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.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).Stress, Physiological: The unfavorable effect of environmental factors (stressors) on the physiological functions of an organism. Prolonged unresolved physiological stress can affect HOMEOSTASIS of the organism, and may lead to damaging or pathological conditions.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.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Mammary Glands, Animal: MAMMARY GLANDS in the non-human MAMMALS.Pyramidal Cells: Projection neurons in the CEREBRAL CORTEX and the HIPPOCAMPUS. Pyramidal cells have a pyramid-shaped soma with the apex and an apical dendrite pointed toward the pial surface and other dendrites and an axon emerging from the base. The axons may have local collaterals but also project outside their cortical region.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.Ion Channel Gating: The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.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.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.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Evoked Potentials: Electrical responses recorded from nerve, muscle, SENSORY RECEPTOR, or area of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM following stimulation. They range from less than a microvolt to several microvolts. The evoked potential can be auditory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, AUDITORY), somatosensory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, SOMATOSENSORY), visual (EVOKED POTENTIALS, VISUAL), or motor (EVOKED POTENTIALS, MOTOR), or other modalities that have been reported.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.)Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.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.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.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)