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      Role of the Free Radical-Scavenger System in Aromatase Activity of the Human Ovary

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          The present study was undertaken to clarify the physiological role of the free radical-scavenger system in the control of estrogen production in the human ovary with age. Both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in the homogenate of the ovary significantly decreased from the premenopausal period to the menopausal period. The lipid peroxide content, however, showed a small and gradual decrease from the premenopausal to the postmenopausal period. In the premenopausal women, aromatase (Ar) activity in the microsomal fraction of the ovary showed a sharp decline and a significant negative correlation with age. Significant positive correlations were found between SOD and Ar activity, and between GSH-Px and Ar activity. Treatments of homogenate of the ovary with 10, 50 and 100 µ M of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> resulted in a decrease in Ar activity in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, treatment with 10 and 50 µM of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> produced a more significant decrease in the Ar activity in the premenopausal women than that in the postmenopausal women. Treatments with 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0U of GSH-Px before administration of 50 µM of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, on the other hand, induced a recovery of the Ar activity in a dose-dependent manner. The present study showed the inhibitory effect of peroxide on Ar activity, which was attenuated by GSH-Px. These results seem to suggest that these age-related, relatively free radical predominant environments in the human ovary may have an important role in the decrease of estrogen production through the effects on the Ar activity.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          03 December 2008
          : 39
          : Suppl 1
          : 22-27
          Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kochi Medical School, Oko, Nankoku, Kochi, Japan
          182753 Horm Res 1993;39:22–27
          © 1993 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 6
          Aging of Reproductive Organs


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