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A biochemical investigation into the function of corpus luteum A study of blood sugar and non-protein nitrogen changes in rabbits after the administration of corpus luteum



A biochemical investigation into the function of corpus luteum A study of blood sugar and non-protein nitrogen changes in rabbits after the administration of corpus luteum



Amer Jour Physiol: 586-596



Intraperitoneal injections of the Corner and Allen lipid extract of corpus luteum were given to rabbits (normal non-pregnant, pregnant, lactating and spayed does, and normal bucks) and resulted at certain times in marked physical reactions accompanied by rises in the sugar and non-protein N of the blood. Control experiments demonstrated that these reactions were specific for the active corpus luteum principle of the extracts used. In most cases, non-pregnant doe rabbits, pregnant rabbits after the 4th day of gestation and lactating rabbits after the 6th day postpartum gave no physical or biochemical evidence of responding to the injections. Occasionally, however, marked typical reactions occurred. No correlation could be made between such reactions and the known physiological state of the animals. Normal doe rabbits always react typically to injection any time from 34 hrs. to 4 days after copulation. The ovaries at this time show ruptured follicles. If the animal is spayed after being served the reaction does not follow injection. From 24 hrs. to 6 days after delivery normal does give positive reactions to the injection of corpus luteum. The post-delivery ovaries show no evidence of ruptured follicles and removal of them does not prevent the reaction. Removal of the uterus has no effect upon the response to corpus luteum either in early pregnancy or after delivery. Spayed does and normal bucks rarely show any physical or biochemical changes following intraperitoneal injection of corpus luteum, but if these unreactive animals are first brought under the influence of folliculin, the corpus luteum injection always induces a positive reaction. This finding indicates that the consistent reactions of does after copulation and the occasional reactions of non-pregnant and pregnant does are the result of the normal production of folliculin within the organism. This biochemical evidence confirms the findings of Hisaw and of Allen of an interrelationship between corpus luteum and the oestrus hormone. The behavior of lactating does, however, cannot be explained upon this basis and the possible influence of the sex principle of the anterior pituitary has not been eliminated. The rise in non-protein N is almost entirely accounted for by a rise of urea. Although this points to renal upset, the direct poisoning of the kidneys by lithium urate does not give comparable sugar and urea curves. Intraperitoneal injection of epinephrine, on the other hand, results in both non-protein N and sugar rises practically identical, in magnitude and time relations, to those following a positive corpus luteum reaction. This suggests that the corpus luteum under certain physiological conditions either stimulates the sympathetic nervous system or else has a direct effect upon the organism similar to that of the adrenal medulla. Whether or not the urea rise is a secondary result and possibly due to kidney damage has not yet been ascertained. It seems possible that the biochemical changes following injection of single large doses of corpus luteum extract may be an exaggeration of a normal catabolic action of this gland. This effect would be entirely in keeping with the importance of the corpus luteum for the implantation and nourishment of the ovum.

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