There are changes in the nuclear content of the estrogen receptor in the rat uterus during the estrous cycle that are associated with changes in its physiology. The changes correlate with the concentrations of circulating estradiol. It appears that uterotrophic response to estradiol is a function of the nuclear receptor. The insertion of an IUD leads to changes in the treated uterine horn which appear to be the result of an increased responsitivity to circulating estradiol. The presence of an IUD did not alter the estrous cycle, gonadotropin, or corpus luteum function. The intracellular distribution of the estrogen receptor was investigated in normal uterine horns and in the horns with devices throughout the estrous cycle. Groups of 30 Wistar rats had a silk suture fitted in the lumen of 1 uterine horn. After 14 days the progress of these estrous cycles was determined. Rats were grouped according to the stage of the cycle on the 4th day. Rats were then killed and the uteri removed. Cytosol receptors were measured. The capacity of the cytosol estrogen receptor to bind to oligo(dT)-cellulose was determined. Cytosol protein, nuclear protein, and DNA were measured. At all stages of the estrous cycle, the wet weight and cytosol receptor of the treated horns were greater than the control horns. A slight increase in the capacity of cytosol receptor to bind to oligo(dT)-cellulose was noted at proestrus. The response elicited by the IUD was not considered to be due to an estrogenic response since the changes observed were not accompanied by a corresponding increase in the content of nuclear receptor.
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