Blockage of ovulation by an angiotensin antagonist

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Science  17 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4859, pp. 1660-1661
DOI: 10.1126/science.3381087


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is present in high concentrations in preovulatory follicular fluid, and ovarian follicular cells have specific Ang II receptors. To investigate the possible direct involvement of Ang II in ovulation the specific receptor antagonist of Ang II, saralasin, was administered by intraperitoneal injection to immature rats in which follide development and ovulation had been induced with pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), respectively. Saralasin halved the number of oocytes found in the fallopian tubes 17 to 20 hours after administration of hCG. The antiovulatory effect was observed when saralasin was given 1 hour before hCG or 1 or 3 hours after hCG but not when given 5 hours after hCG. Simultaneous administration of Ang II reversed the saralasin blockage of ovulation. These results indicate a direct, obligate role for Ang II in ovulation and raise the possibility of contraceptive and profertility applications for agonists or antagonists of the renin-angiotensin system that are aimed at the ovulatory process.