Relationship between blood flow and steroidogenesis in the rabbit corpus luteum
Blood flow in the corpus luteum of the pseudopregnant rabbit was measured with tracer-labelled microspheres before and at 1 and 3 h after saline treatment (N = 8) or after inhibition of progesterone synthesis with aminoglutethimide (N = 10). Before treatment luteal blood flow (29\m=.\5 \m=+-\3\m=.\9 ml /mi n\m=.\g\m=-\1 (mean \ m=+-\s.e.m.)) was much higher than blood flow to other tissues (ovarian stroma = 2\m=.\9\ m=+-\ 0\m=.\6; uterus = 0\m=.\5\ m=+-\0\m=.\1; adrenal gland = 2\m=.\6 \ m=+-\
... = 2\m=.\6 \ m=+-\ 0\m=.\2 ml / mi n\ m=. \ g\ m=-\ 1) . Aminoglutethimide reduced serum progesterone by 60% within 1 h but luteal blood flow was unchanged (26\m=.\2 \m=+-\3\m=.\5 ml /mi n\m=.\g\m=-\1). At 3 h after aminoglutethimide, serum progesterone remained low and luteal blood flow was slightly reduced to 22\m=.\5\m=+-\3\m=.\4 ml /mi n\m=.\g\m=-\1. This reduction was associated with a significant decline in mean arterial blood pressure which resulted in luteal vascular resistance being unaltered by aminoglutethimide treatment. Further analysis of these data indicated that serum progesterone concentration was not significantly correlated with blood flow to the corpora lutea or with blood flow to other tissues. In contrast, mean arterial blood pressure was highly correlated with blood flow to the corpus luteum (r = 0\m=.\80; P < 0\m=.\001) but not to the ovarian stroma (r = 0\m=.\04), or adrenal gland (r = 0\m=.\06). These results indicate that luteal blood flow is not acutely responsive to changes in luteal progesterone production and suggest that luteal blood flow changes passively with changes in arterial blood pressure.