Prorenin as a reproductive hormone. New form of the renin system

Am J Med. 1986 Dec;81(6):1041-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(86)90402-x.


Prorenin, the biosynthetic precursor of renin, is synthesized by the kidneys. Herein is reviewed recent evidence that the ovaries also secrete prorenin. It was found that prorenin is present in mature human ovarian follicular fluid in extremely high concentrations and that plasma prorenin levels increase transiently in blood during the menstrual cycle at the time of ovulation. No change in plasma active renin levels occurs at this time. Plasma prorenin level also increases 10-fold in pregnant women very soon after conception. The ovaries are apparently the source of this rise, since plasma prorenin levels did not increase in a pregnant woman with ovarian failure who received a donor egg. All of these changes in plasma prorenin levels appear to be caused by gonadotropic hormones. These results suggest a role for ovarian prorenin in human reproductive function. They may have relevance to studies of female infertility, birth control, and toxemia of pregnancy. They also suggest that a renin system exists that is regulated by changes in prorenin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Fluids / analysis
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / physiology
  • Enzyme Precursors / blood
  • Enzyme Precursors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology
  • Ovary / metabolism*
  • Ovulation
  • Papio
  • Pregnancy
  • Renin / blood
  • Renin / metabolism*
  • Reproduction


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Enzyme Precursors
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary
  • Renin