Luteal maintenance during early pregnancy in the pig: Role for prostaglandin E2

L. K. Christenson, L. H. Anderson, S. P. Ford, D. B. Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


We previously demonstrated that prostaglandin E2 (PGE) directly inhibits prostaglandin F (PGF)-induced regression of individual pig corpora lutea (CL) in a dose dependent manner. The present experiments were conducted to 1) characterize and compare uterine secretion of PGE and PGF during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy and 2) evaluate the local effect of the conceptus on uterine prostaglandin secretion and associated CL function in unilaterally pregnant pigs. In Experiment 1, utero-ovarian venous blood samples were collected from two nonpregnant and two pregnant gilts at 3-h intervals from day 10 through 16 (first day of estrus or mating = day 0) for quantitation of uterine PGE and PGF secretion. In Experiment 2, gilts (n=4) were made unilaterally pregnant on day 2, and utero-ovarian venous catheters were placed bilaterally to determine if differences in PGE and/or PGF secretion might account for the known luteotrophic/antiluteolytic effect of the gravid uterine horn on the CL of the ipsilateral ovary. During the estrous cycle (Experiment 1), pulsatile secretion of PGF increased markedly on day 13 and continued to increase through day 16. PGE secretion also increased from day 13 to 16 of the estrous cycle; however, concentrations of PGE remained at least 3-fold lower than those of PGF. In contrast to changes in non-mated gilts, prostaglandin secretion in mated gilts peaked earlier (day 11-12), with PGE predominating. Thereafter, both PGE and PGF secretion declined to basal levels where they remained through day 16 of pregnancy. During unilateral pregnancy (Experiment 2), PGF concentration in nongravid and gravid horns was similar (P > 0.8). In contrast, PGE concentrations were greater (P < 0.06) in utero-ovarian venous blood draining the gravid uterine horn. This increase in PGE was associated with enhanced CL function on the ipsilateral ovary as evidenced by an elevated progesterone content and concentration as well as increased CL weights. These data are consistent with a role for conceptus-associated increases in uterine PGE secretion in the local stimulation of luteal function during early pregnancy in the pig.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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