Regulation, action and transport of prostaglandins during the periovulatory period in cattle

P. J. Bridges, J. E. Fortune

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40 Scopus citations


Follicular production of prostaglandins (PGs) is essential for mammalian ovulation, but the factors that mediate production and the cell-specific action(s) of PGE and PGF during the ovulatory cascade remain largely unknown. The aims of these experiments were: (1) to investigate the potential role of oxytocin (OT) in ovulatory PG production, (2) to determine cellular and temporal patterns of expression of mRNA for specific PG receptors during the periovulatory interval, (3) to determine cell-specific effects of PGE2 on progesterone secretion, and (4) to investigate the potential for an active transport mechanism that may regulate the effect of PGs during the ovulatory cascade, using cattle as the animal model. Heifers were treated sequentially with PGF and GnRH to induce luteal regression, a follicular phase and the LH/FSH surge (ovulation occurs ∼30 h after GnRH). In experiment 1, OT increased the secretion of PGE and PGF by granulosa cells collected from preovulatory follicles (before the LH/FSH surge) and OT production by pieces of follicle wall from periovulatory follicles (after the LH/FSH surge) was regulated by progesterone acting through the progesterone receptor. In experiment 2, levels of mRNA for the PGF receptor and three PGE receptor subtypes were determined by semi-quantitative RT-PCR in theca interna and granulosa cells from pre- and periovulatory follicles collected at 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 h post-GnRH. Time- and cell-specific patterns of change in mRNA for PG receptors were observed, suggesting multiple effects of both PGE and PGF in both theca interna and granulosa cells throughout the ovulatory cascade. Cell-specificity of PG action was confirmed in experiment 3; PGE2 increased the secretion of progesterone by theca interna but not granulosa cells collected from late periovulatory follicles. The results of experiment 4 revealed the expression of mRNA for the bovine PG transporter in theca interna and granulosa cells and its regulation during the periovulatory period, thus revealing the presence of a potential transport mechanism that could regulate cellular distribution of PGs throughout the ovulatory cascade. Taken together, these results provide new insight into mechanisms that regulate the production, distribution and site of action of PGE and PGF during the ovulatory cascade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (HD41592 to JEF) and a Lalor Foundation Fellowship (PJB).


  • Ovarian follicle
  • Ovary
  • Ovulation
  • Oxytocin
  • Prostaglandin receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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