Objective: To determine the effect of the progesterone metabolite 5β-dihydroprogesterone on human oxytocin receptor binding in myometrial membranes and on whole-cell calcium current in single myometrial cells. Design: Receptor binding studies in human myometrial membranes prepared from biopsies taken before or after the onset of labour and in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human oxytocin receptor. Whole cell patch-clamp experiments were undertaken on isolated myometrial cells. Setting: University research laboratories and University hospital. Population: Patients undergoing caesarean section at term either prior to or following onset of labour. Methods: Myometrial biopsies were taken from women undergoing caesarean section. The binding affinities of oxytocin, 5β-dihydroprogesterone and atosiban were determined in myometrial membranes and Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human oxytocin receptor. The effect of 5β-dihydroprogesterone on inward current was also determined in isolated myometrial cells. Main outcome measures: Receptor binding affinity and electrophysiological inward current. Results: 5β-Dihydroprogesterone did not reduce oxytocin receptor binding in myometrial membranes or Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human oxytocin receptor. Nor did it influence calcium current under whole-cell patch conditions in single myometrial cells. In contrast, atosiban inhibited binding in myometrial membranes prepared from samples taken either prior to or following labour (Ki = 112 and 108 nM, respectively). The affinity of atosiban for the oxytocin receptor was much lower than oxytocin (Ki = 5 and 6 nM in samples taken before or after labour, respectively) in myometrial membranes and in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human oxytocin receptor (Ki = 63 M and 1 nM for atosiban and oxytocin, respectively). Conclusions: We conclude that 5β-dihydroprogesterone is unlikely to regulate myometrial activity as a result of a direct effect on oxytocin receptor binding or inward calcium current.
Astle, S., Khan, R. N., & Thornton, S. (2003). The effects of a progesterone metabolite, 5β-dihydroprogesterone, on oxytocin receptor binding in human myometrial membranes. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 110(6), 589–592. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-0328(03)02541-2