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Ovarian secretion of oxytocin is stimulated by prostaglandin


Oxytocin induces regression of corpora lutea when administered to several domestic species1–3 and a role for endogenous oxytocin in controlling the ovarian cycle is supported by the delay in luteal regression observed in sheep which have been immunized against oxytocin4. Although the posterior pituitary is the major source of oxytocin released at parturition and before suckling, recent evidence suggests that during the oestrous cycle the ovary may also secrete oxytocin. Circulating oxytocin and progesterone levels change in parallel during the oestrous cycle and after ovariectomy5–7, and the corpus luteum8 (but not other ovarian tissues [A.P.F.F. and E.L.S., unpublished]) contains high concentrations of oxytocin. We now extend this evidence by showing that in sheep, the concentration of oxytocin in ovarian venous blood exceeds that in arterial blood, and we find that ovarian secretion of oxytocin is stimulated by a prostaglandin F analogue.

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Flint, A., Sheldrick, E. Ovarian secretion of oxytocin is stimulated by prostaglandin. Nature 297, 587–588 (1982).

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