Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Immunohistochemical localization of progesterone receptors alpha (PRA) in ovary of the pseudopregnant rabbit

Mahmoud Abd-Elkareem and Alaa Sayed Abou-Elhamd

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Progesterone plays an important role in the reproductive function and follicular development in mammals. The aim of the present study was to examine the localization of progesterone receptor alpha (PRA) in ovary of pseudopregnant rabbit by immunohistochemical methods. Samples were collected from 14 h. to 18 days of pseudopregnancy. At the first stage of pseudopregnancy (14 h.), the rabbit ovary showed moderate immunostaining of PRA in the granulosa cells and theca interna cells of preovulatory follicle and in the stroma cells. At the middle stage of pseudopregnancy (3-7 days), the rabbit ovary showed strong immunostaining of PRA in ovarian surface epithelial cells, follicular cells of the primary follicle, granulosa cells and theca interna cells of the growing and antral follicles. Moderate immunoexpression of PRA were observed in the large lutein cells and endothelial cells of the corpus haemorrhagicum and corpus luteum and in the stroma cells. At the end of pseudopregnancy (18 days) strong PRA reactions were detected in the small lutein cells of the regressed corpus luteum. Moderate to strong PRA immuno-expression were observed in the proliferated theca interna cells of the atretic antral follicles. The atretic large lutein cells of the regressed corpus luteum showed negative immunostaining for PRA. This study showed that the PRA positive small lutein cells of the regressed corpus luteum and the PRA positive proliferated theca interna cells of the atretic antral follicles were transformed into PRA positive interstitial gland cells. In conclusion, the present study had described the distribution of PRA in the ovary of pseudopregnant rabbit, which is not discussed before in the available literature. It also gives more information about follicular dynamic, formation and origin of interstitial glands, mechanism of ovulation, formation and regression of the corpus luteum.


Ovary, progesterone, pseudopregnancy, rabbit.


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