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P450-aromatase mRNA is Expressed in the Corpus Luteum (CL) of the Non-Pregnant Sheep and Goat: The Expression of the Enzyme is Present Throughout Pregnancy in the Goat CL


Author’s address (for correspondence): MC Romano, Dpto. de Fisiología, Biofísica y NC, Cinvestav, Apdo. Postal 14-740, 07310 México City, México. E-mail:


In most mammals, the corpus luteum (CL) and placenta are the major sources of progesterone. The goat pregnancy depends on the presence of CL after mid-gestation, while sheep pregnancy does not. The expression and distribution of P450-aromatase (P450-Aro) mRNA throughout gestation has not been investigated in the goat CL and partially in the sheep CL. The present research was designed to characterize the expression of P450-Aro mRNA in small ruminant CL with emphasis in the goat. For this purpose, ovaries from Criollo goats and Pelibuey sheeps were analysed using in situ reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the histological detection of P450-Aro transcripts. In addition, P450-Aro expression was determined by in vitro RT-PCR. In situ RT-PCR studies showed that the goat and sheep CL were rich in cells positive for P450-Aro mRNA. We have also found in vitro RT-PCR expression of P450-Aro mRNA in goat CL at 1, 3 and 4 months of gestation. This study shows that the goat CL expresses P450-Aro mRNA along gestation, suggesting that this structure is capable to produce oestrogens up to the end of gestation.