Dynamic studies on the selective uptake of [3H]-estradiol by the fetal uterus and other fetal organs of guinea pig

A. Gulino, J. R. Pasqualini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamic aspects of the selective retention of [3H]-estradiol in the fetal uterus and other fetal organs of guinea pig after in vivo administration of the hormone to the fetus are presented. The fetal uterus shows a significant retention of the radioactivity with values that are 3.5-12 times higher than in the other fetal organs. Furthermore, the uterus, lung, kidney, and intestine show an increase in the uptake of radioactivity with time, with maximal values 0.5-1 h after the injection; the heart, brain, adrenal, and liver show their greatest uptake at 10 min after the injection, with decreasing values thereafter. The analysis of the radioactive material shows that unmetabolized [3H]-estradiol is largely predominant in the uterus 6 h after administration of [3H] -estradiol to the fetus (94% of the total radioactivity in this organ), although a relatively significant amount of [3H]-estrone is found, especially in the cytosol fraction, at the early intervals after [3H]-estradiol administration. Important quantities of [3H]-estrone are also present in the lung (12-45%) and brain (27-65%). In the liver and intestine, the greater part of the radioactive material is metabolic products of [3H]-estradiol (estrone, and estrone- and estradiol sulfates). Most of the radioactive material in the plasma is estrogen sulfates (53-69%), particularly estrone sulfate. An intense sulfokinase activity is observed in the fetal adrenal and liver. In the fetal uterus 10 min after injection of [3H]-estradiol, most of the radioactivity is localized in the cytosol fraction (59% of the total radioactivity of the organ), but at 6 h the nuclear radioactivity represents 68%. This nuclear radioactivity is mainly unmetabolized [3H]-estradiol (97% of the total radioactivity of this fraction) which remains at a high concentration 6 h after administration. On the other hand, the concentration of [3H]-estrone in this tissue diminishes very rapidly. This selective uptake and long retention of [3H]-estradiol in the fetal uterus of guinea pig can be related to the presence of the large quantity of estradiol receptors found in this fetal organ in previous studies in this laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology

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