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Secretion of Progesterone by the Adrenal Gland


THE importance of progesterone in adrenal function has been emphasized by a number of investigators. Beall and Reichstein1 isolated a small amount from adrenal extracts, and more recently Hechter and others2, using the perfused cow adrenal gland, showed that progesterone is an important intermediary metabolite for the synthesis of the adrenal corticoids. While the work reported here was in progress, Klopper et al. 3 demonstrated the presence of pregnanediol in the urine of ovariectomized women, but not in that of ovariectomized, adrenalectomized women. These, and other workers4, have inferred that the pregnanediol in these cases is of adrenal origin. The following results support this conclusion inasmuch as they show that the adrenal gland can secrete progesterone.

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  1. Beall, D., and Reichstein, T., Nature, 142, 479 (1938).

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  2. Hechter, O., Zaffaroni, A., Jacobsen, R. P., Levy, H., Jeanloz, R. M., Schenker, V., and Pincus, G., Recent Progr. Hormone Res., 6, 215 (1951).

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  3. Klopper, A., Strong, J. A., and Cook, L. R., J. Endocrin., 15, 180 (1957).

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  4. Bergstrand, C. G., and Gemzell, C. A., J. Clin. Endocrin., 17, 870 (1957).

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  5. Short, R. V., Ciba Foundation Colloquia on Endocrinology, 11 (in the press).

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BALFOUR, W., COMLINE, R. & SHORT, R. Secretion of Progesterone by the Adrenal Gland. Nature 180, 1480–1481 (1957).

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