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Endometrial and luteal synthesis of prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2A) occurs before and during luteolysis and is critical for luteal regression. This study demonstrates that PGF2A stimulates further PGF2A synthesis (autoamplification) apparently from the corpus luteum. Understanding the endocrine profile of prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2A) autoamplification is fundamental to comprehend luteal and endometrial responses to PGF2A. On day 10 of postovulation (preluteolysis), heifers (n = 6/group) were treated intrauterine with saline or PGF2A (0.5 mg; hour 0). A third group received flunixin meglumine + PGF (FM+PGF) to prevent endogenous synthesis of PGF2A. Exogenous PGF2A was metabolized at hour 2 as measured by PGF2A metabolite (PGFM). From hours 5 to 48, concentrations of PGFM were greatest in the PGF group, smallest in the FM+PGF, and intermediate in the control suggesting endogenous synthesis of PGF2A only in PGF group. Progesterone (P4) concentrations decreased transiently between hours 0 and 1 in PGF and FM+PGF groups but rebounded to pretreatment concentrations by hours 6 and 4, respectively. No control or FM+PGF heifers underwent luteolysis during the experimental period. Conversely, in the PGF group, one heifer had complete luteolysis (P4 < 1 ng/mL), two heifers had partial luteolysis followed by P4 and CL resurgence by hour 48, and three heifers did not undergo luteolysis. Endogenous PGF2A appears to be of luteal origin due to the lack of pulsatile pattern of PGFM and lack of endometrial upregulation of oxytocin receptor (typical of endometrial synthesis of PGF2A), whereas luteal downregulation of PGF receptor and HPGD indicates a classic luteal response to PGF2A signaling although other specific mechanisms were not investigated. The hypothesis was supported that a single PGF2A treatment simulating the peak of a natural luteolytic pulse and the uteroovarian transport of PGF2A stimulates measurable endogenous PGF2A production.


Rafael R Domingues, O J Ginther, Victor Gomez-Leon, Polyana Nunes da Silva, Thadeu Castro, August Hoppmann, Milo C Wiltbank. Processes involved in prostaglandin F2alpha autoamplification in heifers. Reproduction (Cambridge, England). 2023 Jan 01;165(1):93-101

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PMID: 36239920

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