Distribution and changes in amounts of the androgen receptor in the pig uterus during the estrous cycle, early pregnancy and after treatment with sex steroids

H. Cárdenas*, W. F. Pope

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments were performed to examine the expression of the androgen receptor (AR) gene in the pig uterus. In experiment 1, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to determine the distribution of the AR in uterine tissue of pigs when collected at the first day of estrus (day 0) and the mid-luteal phase (day 12) of the estrous cycle, or early pregnancy (day 12, n=4 gilts per group). In experiment 2, AR immunostaining and AR mRNA in uterine tissue were compared among ovariectomized gilts (n=4 per group) following treatment for 4 days with daily injections of: (1) progesterone (2 mg/kg bodyweight (BW)), (2) estradiol-17β (E2, 2 μg/kg BW), (3) E2 Plus progesterone (same dosages as 1 and 2 combined), (4) 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT, 7 μg/kg BW), or (5) vehicle (corn oil). Data were analyzed using ANOVA. In experiment 1, nuclear staining for AR in luminal and glandular epithelia was strong and did not differ in intensity between the two locations. Immunostaining of AR in the myometrium was less (P<0.001) intense than in the luminal and glandular epithelia. Nuclei of stromal cells contained AR immunostaining that varied in intensity from strong (mainly in subepithelial stroma) to weak or no staining. Stages of the estrous cycle or early pregnancy did not influence AR immunostaining in the endometrial epithelia and myometrium. In experiment 2, immunostaining of AR in glandular and luminal epithelia and myometrium of ovariectomized gilts treated with vehicle or DHT was less (P<0.05) than in gilts treated with E2, progesterone, or E2 plus progesterone. Immunostaining of AR did not differ between ovariectomized gilts treated with vehicle or DHT, or between gilts treated with E2, progesterone, or E2 plus progesterone. In both experiments, intensity of AR immunostaining was greater in glandular epithelium located at the adluminal region compared with glandular epithelium located at the basal region of the endometrium. Competitive reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) indicated a stimulatory effect (P<0.01) of E2 on amounts of AR mRNA in whole endometrium. This increase in AR mRNA after E2 treatment was not detected when E2 was combined with progesterone. Endometrial AR mRNA was not influenced by DHT or progesterone relative to vehicle-treated gilts. In conclusion, immunoreactive AR is mainly present in luminal and glandular epithelia of the pig uterus and to a lesser extent in the myometrium, and does not change significantly during the estrous cycle or early pregnancy. Expression of the AR gene in the pig endometrium and myometrium appears to be regulated by E2 and progesterone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume177
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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