Rajan R Dighe
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 13 Issue 3 September 1988 pp 285-293
The mechanism of ‘down regulation’ of luteinizing hormone receptors was investigated in pseudopregnant rats using a modified radioimmunoassay capable of measuring endogenous tissue-bound hormone. Treatment of pseudopregnant animals with a desensitizing dose (desensitization treatment) of human chorionic gonadotropin resulted in a decrease in receptor concentration. This decrease was prevented if the animals were treated prior to the desensitization treatment with indomethacin, an inhibitor of prostaglandin biosynthesis, suggesting a role for prostaglandins in down regulation. The desensitization treatment resulted in a time-dependent decrease in subsequent responsiveness of the tissue to luteinizing hormone. Basal progesterone production rate was also decreased following desensitization. Total tissue cholesterol was found to be decreased following desensitization treatment, without any change in the ratio of free to esterified cholesterol. Mitochondrial cholesterol was significantly reduced and pregnenolone production by the mitochondria of desensitized corpora lutea was also markedly reduced. However, when cholesterol was added to the mitochondria of desensitized corpora lutea, pregnenolone production was increased, reaching values almost equal to that shown by the control mitochondria. These results show that decrease in the responsiveness following desensitization treatment is due to, besides receptor loss, decrease in tissue cholesterol, in particular mitochondrial cholesterol. The cholesterol side chain cleavage activity, although low, appears to be functionally intact; the low activity could be attributed to low levels of mitochondrial cholesterol.
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