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The main natural estrogens are:- 17 estradiol, estrone & estriol. .

They are secreted by:
Granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, corpus luteum, placenta & adrenal cortex.
Actions of estrogens
1- Female genitalia;
1- On ovaries: E facilitates growth of ovarian follicles.
2- vagina: epithelium enlarge and become stratified (more resistant to infection).
3- On uterus: E causes proliferation of endometrium, growth of uterine muscle, become
more excitable & sensitizes uterine muscles to oxytocin. It also increases uterine blood flow.
4- External genitalia; enlarge with fat deposition
2- Effect on the breast;
* Development of breast duct system & fat deposition.
* development of stromal tissue.
* E causes pigmentation of areola.
3- Development of secondary sexual characteristics;
*Deposition of fat in certain parts feminine distribution.
*decrease scalp hair, Growth of axillary & pubic hair with flat-topped pattern (androgen
*Change in body configuration with narrow shoulder & broad hip.
*Voice stays high-pitched.
*Skin is soft, smooth, warm & more vascular.
4- Skeleton;
1- Protein anabolic action
2- Increases osteoblastic activity. It causes early union of epiphysis with shafts of long bone.
After menopause; decreased osreoblastic activity and decreased Ca and Ph deposition in
bone osteoporosis.
5- H2O and electrolyte balance;
Salt & water retention by the kidney.
6- Plasma cholesterol lowering effect & low incidence of CVS complications.
7- Makes sebaceous gland secretion more fluid, counteracts the effect of testosterone.
Mechanism of action of estrogens
E combines with receptor ( & ) and the complex binds to DNA promoting mRNA
formation that direct formation of new protein which modify cell function.

Progeaterone is synthesized in corpus luteum and in placenta during pregnancy.
Actions of progesterone.
On the uterus
1- Secretory changes in the mucosal lining of fallopian tubes & in estrogen primed
endometriem during the luteal phase. These changes are necessary for implantation & occurs
in fallopian tubes.
2- An antiestrogenic effect on myometrium making it less excitable & less sensitive to
oxytocin. During pregnancy, progesterone inhibits uterine activity (relaxing effect).
3- on fallobian tubes: produces secretory changes for nutrition of the fertilized dividing
4- on cervix: thick cervical mucus.
On breast
Progesterone stimulates growth & proliferation of alveolar tissues & lobules.
It causes fluid retention in the subcutaneous tissues.
On the brain
Negative feedback on the pituitary & hypothalamus.
Large dose, inhibits LH secretion preventing ovulation.
Other effects
1-Thermogenic effect & increase the metabolic rate & increase body temperature 24 h after
2- Stimulation of respiratory centre.
3- Mobilization of protein from the mother for the use of the fetus. (mild catabolic effect).
4- It causes natriuresis by blocking the action of aldosterone.