2017 Volume 64 Issue 8 Pages 797-805
The potent androgen 5α-dihydrotestosterone is metabolized to the weak androgen 5α-androstane-3α, 17β-diol (3α-diol) by the enzyme aldo-keto reductase family 1, member C14 (Akr1c14) in rodents. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the regulation of Akr1c14 expression during the ovulatory process in rat ovaries. Northern blot analysis revealed that treatment of immature rats with equine chorionic gonadotropin resulted in lowered Akr1c14 expression, whereas subsequent treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) increased ovarian Akr1c14 expression within 3 h. In situ hybridization analysis showed that Akr1c14 mRNA was localized in granulosa cells of growing follicles before hCG treatment, but it was also expressed in granulosa cells of preovulatory follicles after hCG treatment. Akr1c14 protein expression increased after 6 h of hCG treatment and was sustained at high levels until 12 h. The levels of 3α-diol in preovulatory follicles isolated from ovaries in vivo were fluctuated by hCG treatment; decreased at 6 h and increased at 9 h. Human CG-induced Akr1c14 expression was suppressed by treatment with the progesterone receptor antagonist RU486, but not with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the induction of Akr1c14 by hCG in granulosa cells of rat preovulatory follicles that was regulated by progesterone receptor antagonist.