Protein kinase C in uterine and systemic arteries during ovarian cycle and pregnancy

R. R. Magness, C. R. Rosenfeld, B. R. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Elevated uterine blood flow is associated with increases in local estrogen-to-progesterone ratios during the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle and late pregnancy. Because protein kinase C (PKC) activation increases arterial tone, decreased PKC activity may mediate vasodilation. Therefore, we determined uterine (UA) and systemic artery (SA, omental) PKC activity (pmol·mg protein-1·min-1) during the follicular (n = 6), early luteal (n = 4), and late luteal (n = 3) phases of the sheep ovarian cycle, and at 110 ± 3 (n = 4) and 130 ± 1 (n = 8) (±SE) days of ovine gestation. The stage of the ovarian cycle was verified by the presence of follicles (high estrogen) or corpora lutea (high progesterone) on the ovary and by plasma estrogen and progesterone concentrations. UA-PKC activity (pmol·mg protein-1·min-1) during the follicular phase was 100 ± 18 and increased progressively to 155 ± 28 during the early luteal phase and to 219 ± 37 (P < 0.05) during the late luteal phase; SA-PKC activity was unchanged. A local utero-ovarian relationship was observed, i.e., UA-PKC activity was lower (P < 0.001) in UA ipsilateral to ovaries with only follicles (105 ± 14) when compared with UA adjacent to ovaries with corpora lutea (224 ± 26), which was similar to SA-PKC activity (184 ± 35). UA-PKC activity fell from 344 ± 70 at 110 days to 109 ± 12 at 130 days gestation (P < 0.05); SA-PKC activity was unchanged. During the ovarian cycle and latter one-third of ovine pregnancy, increased estrogen production is associated with decreased UA-PKC activity; thus local ovarian and placental steroids may alter PKC activity, thereby regulating UA tone and blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E464-E470
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3 23-3
StatePublished - 1991


  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Sheep
  • Uterine blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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