Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Non-classical mechanisms of steroid sensing in the ovary: lessons from the bovine oxytocin model

Ivell, Richard; Dai, Yanzhenzi; Mann, Navdeep; Anand-Ivell, Ravinder


Richard Ivell

Yanzhenzi Dai

Navdeep Mann


Steroidogenic tissues such as the ovary, testes or adrenal glands are paradoxical in that they often indicate actions of steroid hormones within a dynamic range of ligand concentration in a high nanomolar or even micromolar level, i.e. at the natural concentrations existing within those organs. Yet ligand-activated nuclear steroid receptors act classically by direct interaction with DNA in the picomolar or low nanomolar range. Moreover, global genomic studies suggest that less than 40% of steroid-regulated genes involve classical responsive elements in gene promoter regions. The bovine oxytocin gene is a key element in the maternal recognition of pregnancy in ruminants and is regulated via an SF1 site in its proximal promoter. This gene is also regulated by steroids acting in a non-classical manner, involving nuclear receptors which do not interact directly with DNA. Dose-response relationships for these actions are in the high nanomolar range. Similar ‘steroid sensing’ mechanisms may prevail for other SF1-regulated genes and predict alternative pathways by which environmental endocrine disruptors might influence the functioning of steroid-producing organs and hence indirectly the steroid-dependent control of physiology and development.


Ivell, R., Dai, Y., Mann, N., & Anand-Ivell, R. (2014). Non-classical mechanisms of steroid sensing in the ovary: lessons from the bovine oxytocin model. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 382(1), doi:10.1016/j.mce.2013.04.016

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 27, 2013
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2013
Publication Date Jan 25, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2017
Journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Print ISSN 0303-7207
Electronic ISSN 1872-8057
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 382
Issue 1
Keywords Oxytocin ; Non-classical steroid signaling ;Oxytocin receptor ; Estrogen receptor-alpha ; Estrogen receptor-beta ;Bovine ovary
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: