A sensitive platelet aggregation-inhibition assay was used to quantitate the production of prostacyclin by different cell types of the goat ovary. The assay could detect as low as 0.16 ng in the test sample. Different cell types i.e. granulosa, theca and corpus luteum or the total ovarian homogenate were incubated at 37° C for 10 minutes with or without 0.2mM arachidonic acid. Rat aortic strips were incubated under similar conditions as a positive control. Under basal conditions the amount of prostacyclin produced by corpus luteum cells was higher compared to that by granulosa cells. When the precursor of prostaglandins (arachidonic acid) was provided the production markedly increased in corpus luteum, granulosa, and ovarian homogenate as well as in aortic strips. Theca cells did not produce detectable levels of prostacyclin even when the precursor was provided. Trapidil did not alter the basal but enhanced the archidonic acid-stimulated prostacyclin production in homogenate and granulosa cells with no further increase in corpus luteum cells. U-51605 decreased basal as well as arachidonic acid-stimulated prostacyclin production in all the cell types. The prostacyclin production in ovaries is compartmentalized suggesting a possible role in ovarian physiology.
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