In the non-pregnant mouse myometrium, both arginine vasopressin and oxytocin induced contractions (pD2=8.55±0.13 and 9.23±0.09, respectively). The effect of oxytocin was the most potent, while the maximum contractions induced by these two peptides were almost of the same magnitude. Both vasopressin- and oxytocin-induced contractions were strongly inhibited by an oxytocin receptor antagonist, CL-12-42 (d(CH 2)5[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4,Tyr-NH 29]OVT), and weakly inhibited by a vasopressin V 1a receptor antagonist, SR49059 ((2S)1-[(2R,3S)-5-chloro-3-(2-chlorophenyl)-1-(3,4-dimethoxybenzene-sulfonyl) -3-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole-2-carbonyl]-pyrrolidine-2-carboxamide). Similar results were obtained in the pregnant mouse myometrium. These results suggest that not only oxytocin- but also vasopressin-induced contraction is mediated by the activation of oxytocin receptors in the mouse myometrium. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction study failed to reveal mRNA of the vasopressin V1a receptor in the mouse myometrium. In contrast, in the non-pregnant human myometrium, vasopressin-induced contraction was inhibited by SR49059. Oxytocin showed no effect on the myometrium. These results suggest that there are significant differences in the functional receptors and contractile responses to vasopressin and oxytocin in the human and mouse uteri.
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