| Share
 

progesterone

progesterone (prōjĕsˈtərōnˌ) [key], female sex hormone that induces secretory changes in the lining of the uterus essential for successful implantation of a fertilized egg. A steroid, progesterone is secreted chiefly by the corpus luteum, a group of cells formed in the ovary after the follicle ruptures during the release of the egg cell. If fertilization does not take place, the secretion of progesterone decreases and menstruation occurs. If fertilization does occur, progesterone is secreted during pregnancy by the placenta and acts to prevent spontaneous abortion; the hormone also prepares the mammary glands for milk production. Progesterone is also synthesized from cholesterol in the cortex of the adrenal gland where it is a precursor for the synthesis of other steroids including testosterone. Synthetic compounds with progesteronelike activity have been developed that, along with estrogen, are used in oral contraceptives.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on progesterone from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Biochemistry


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring