Letter | Published:

Thymus metabolises progesterone—possible enzymatic marker for T lymphocytes

Naturevolume 266pages632633 (1977) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

FEMALES of the athymic mutant strain of nude mice show severe deficiencies in reproductive function. The ovaries and the uterus are abnormally small1, puberty is delayed2, oestrous cycles are abnormal and mature females are usually sterile1,3. These abnormalities can be prevented by grafting thymic tissue at birth2,3. Similar abnormalities result from neonatal thymectomy of normal female mice, and can be corrected by thymus re-grafting up to 7 d age2,4. These observations suggest an involvement of the thymus in gonadal development and function. Conversely, certain sex hormones are known to cause atrophy of the thymus5. Hitherto, however, there has been no evidence implicating the thymus of the infantile mouse in sex hormone metabolism. We report here the presence of 20α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20α-SDH) activity in the mouse thymus, an enzyme engaged in progesterone metabolism.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Shire, J. G. M. & Pantelouris, E. M. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 47A, 93–100 (1974).

  2. 2

    Besedowsky, H. O. & Sorkin, E. Nature 249, 356–358 (1974).

  3. 3

    Flanagan, S. P. Genet. Res. 8, 295–309 (1966).

  4. 4

    Nishizuka, Y. & Sakakura, T. Science 166, 753–755 (1969).

  5. 5

    Frey-Wettstein, M. & Craddock, C. G. Blood 35, 257–271 (1970).

  6. 6

    Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L. & Randall, R. J. J. biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951).

  7. 7

    Wilcox, R. B. & Wiest, W. G. Steroids 7, 395–413 (1966).

  8. 8

    Dougherty, T. F., Berliner, M. C. & Berliner, D. C. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 14, 78–82 (1960).

  9. 9

    Wiest, W. G. & Kidwell, W. R. in The Gonads (ed. McKern, K. W.) 295–325 (Appleton Century-Crofts, New York, 1969).

  10. 10

    Lindner, H. R. & Lamprecht, S. A. Adv. Biosci. 4, 419–428 (1969).

  11. 11

    Zmigrod, A. & Lindner, H. R. Steroids 8, 119–132 (1966).

  12. 12

    Monroe, J. S. J. reticuloendothel. Soc. 9, 361–375 (1971).

  13. 13

    Carter, J. J. Reprod. Fert. 46, 211–216 (1976).

  14. 14

    Wilkinson, G. N. Biochem. J. 80, 324–332 (1961).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Hormone Research, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

    • Y. WEINSTEIN
    •  & H. R. LINDNER
  2. Department of Zoology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

    • B. ECKSTEIN

Authors

  1. Search for Y. WEINSTEIN in:

  2. Search for H. R. LINDNER in:

  3. Search for B. ECKSTEIN in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/266632a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.