Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The role of sex steroid receptors in sheep female reproductive physiology

A. Meikle A B , C. Tasende A , C. Sosa A and E. G. Garófalo A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology Department, Veterinary Faculty, Lasplaces 1550, Montevideo, Uruguay.

B To whom correspondence should be addressed. email: anamei@adinet.com.uy

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 16(4) 385-394 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD04036
Submitted: cfArticle2ecfc1997462761$funcRECEIVEDDATE@8783057  Accepted: 23 March 2004   Published: 6 July 2004

Abstract

Cell responsiveness to steroid hormones is related to the number and affinity of its receptors, thus factors affecting steroid expression will influence tissue sensitivity and functionality. The present review discusses the role of oestrogen and progesterone receptors in sheep female reproductive physiology. The mechanism of steroid hormone action in the target cell is introduced first; the tissue distribution, physiological functions and regulation of oestrogen receptor subtypes and progesterone receptor isoforms in ruminants are reported. The role of steroid receptors in target tissues (with emphasis on the uterus and pituitary gland) during different physiological events is addressed in an attempt to clarify oestrogen and progesterone actions in different developmental and reproductive stages: prepubertal period, oestrous cycle, pregnancy, post-partum period and seasonal anoestrus. The present review shows how the distinct reproductive stages are accompanied by dramatic changes in uterine receptor expression. The role of oestrogen and progesterone receptors in the molecular mechanism responsible for premature luteolysis that results in subnormal luteal function is discussed. Finally, the effect of nutrition on sex steroid receptor expression and the involvement on reproductive performance is reported.

Extra keywords: oestrogen, progesterone.


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