Estrogen enhances endometrial estrogen receptor gene expression by a posttranscriptional mechanism in the ovariectomized ewe. Academic Article uri icon


  • Prior influence of estrogen is required for many physiological effects of steroid hormones. This study addresses positive autoregulation of estrogen receptor gene expression in endometrium. Groups of ovariectomized ewes (n = 6) were treated with a single i.m. injection of 50 micrograms 17 beta-estradiol for 6, 12, 24, or 48 h or of vehicle for 24 h (control) prior to collection of endometrium. Three ewes received a regimen of estradiol-progesterone-estradiol (EPE) designed to mimic the estrous cycle. Northern analysis of endometrial RNA using an ovine estrogen receptor complementary RNA probe indicated that estradiol increased (p < 0.0001) estrogen receptor messenger RNA abundance over time to be 5-fold greater at 24 h postinjection. This effect also occurred after a period of progesterone dominance in EPE ewes (p < 0.05). Ribonuclease protection assays with a complementary RNA probe for the ovine progesterone receptor demonstrated that estradiol treatment increased progesterone receptor messenger RNA abundance at 48 h (p < 0.005). Nuclear runoff analyses indicated that whereas estradiol enhanced the transcription rates of progesterone receptor (p < 0.1) and 28S ribosomal RNA genes (p < 0.002), activity of the estrogen receptor gene was unchanged (p > 0.25). These results suggest that a physiological dose of estradiol, similar to the preovulatory surge of estrogen, up-regulates endometrial estrogen receptor gene expression by a posttranscriptional mechanism.

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

author list (cited authors)

  • Ing, N. H., Spencer, T. E., & Bazer, F. W.

citation count

  • 83

complete list of authors

  • Ing, NH||Spencer, TE||Bazer, FW

publication date

  • March 1996