Progesterone 5 alpha-reductase in mouse brain

Brain Res. 1984 Jul 9;305(2):197-202. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(84)90425-6.


We have examined the distribution of progesterone 5 alpha-reductase activity in minces of discrete brain areas from two strains of adult ovariectomized mice known to be differentially responsive to the behavioral effects of exogenously administered 5 alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione (5 alpha-DHP). Minces of freshly dissected midbrain tegmentum (TEG), hypothalamus-preoptic area (HPOA), hippocampus (HIP), and parietal cortex (CTX) were incubated with [4-14C]progesterone in a Krebs-Henseleit bicarbonate buffer solution containing 10 mM glucose for 2 h at 37 degrees C. The [14C]5 alpha-DHP produced was identified by comparison with known standards in paper and thin-layer chromatography systems, derivative formation, and recrystallization to a constant 14C/3H ratio. We found a 6-fold difference in the extent to which various brain areas formed 5 alpha-DHP. The amount of conversion was similar for both strains of mice. When expressed as picomoles of 5 alpha-DHP formed per 2 h per 20 mg of tissue, the following order of activity was observed: TEG greater than HPOA greater than HIP greater than CTX.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Preoptic Area / enzymology
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Progesterone Reductase / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / enzymology


  • Progesterone
  • 3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases
  • Progesterone Reductase