Changes in 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity in the developing rabbit ovary
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The presence of 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in the maturing rabbit ovary was demonstrated biochemically and histochemically. Enzyme activity was negligible to absent in ovaries from rabbits less than 44 days old. The greatest activity was located in the microsomal fraction of ovaries from mature rabbits. The enzyme characteristics were: Vmax = 33.1 +/- 9.6 nmol/min/mg protein and Km = 2.16 +/- 0.28 microM. Ovaries from pregnant hyperglycemic rabbits had enzyme which showed a Vmax of 51.4 +/- 8.2 nmol/min/mg protein and Km = 2.41 +/- 0.31 microM. These results indicate that rabbit ovarian tissue becomes steroidogenically active at a time when gonadotropin levels are elevated.
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