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3 beta hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase isomerase activity in placentas from pregnancies complicated by steroid sulfatase deficiency



3 beta hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase isomerase activity in placentas from pregnancies complicated by steroid sulfatase deficiency



Journal of Steroid Biochemistry 13(5): 475-480



The 3.beta.-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase activity of preparations of human placentas was determined in vitro by measuring the conversion of [3H]-pregnenolone to [3H]-progesterone. The mean activity (330 .+-. 40 cpm/mg protein per 30 min, mean .+-. SD, n = 8) of placentas deficient in steroid sulfatase, previously stored at -20.degree. C, was significantly less (P < 0.001, t-test) than that of control placentas which had been treated in an identical manner (600 .+-. 60 cpm/mg protein per 30 min, n = 15). However, when tested without freezing, the mean activity of the same control placentas was 2240 .+-. 675 cpm/mg protein per 30 min ( n = 15) and the activity of a fresh sulfatase deficient placenta (2170 cpm/mg protein per 30 min) was indistinguishable from that of the controls. 3.beta.-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase activity therefore appears to be sensitive to freezing and thawing and the effect is more marked in sulfatase deficient placentas. This finding confirms the earlier reports of lower activities of steroid metabolizing enzymes (other than sulfatase) in steroid sulfatase deficient placentas. The results from the deficient placentas studied fresh and after freezing imply that the lower 3.beta.-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase activity in steroid sulfatase deficient placentas is due to the study of tissue which had been stored at -20.degree. C rather than of fresh tissue. Mean 3.beta.-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase activity of fresh placentas from male infants was significantly less (P < 0.05) than that of placentas where the fetus was female.

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