The mammalian uterus is capable of metabolizing arachidonic acid via the lipoxygenase pathway, and the uterus responds to lipoxygenase products. We postulated that progesterone influences the production of leukotrienes in the uterus in a way similar to that in which estradiol influences prostaglandin production. Uterine contractions were measured in actively sensitized guinea pigs throughout the estrous cycle and in ovariectomized, hormonally primed, sensitized guinea pigs. Antigen challenge stimulated uterine contractions (caused by prostaglandins) that increased throughout the estrous cycle to a maximum in day 15, when estradiol is at its peak. Pretreatment with indomethacin abolished uterine contractions except on day 9 of the cycle, when progesterone levels are at their highest. Day 9 contractions were blocked by FPL 55712, a selective receptor antagonist of leukotrienes. These findings were confirmed in ovariectomized/sensitized guinea pigs. Our data suggest that endogenous synthesis of leukotrienes in the uterus may be directly related to the rise of progesterone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology