Effect of local neutralization of basic fibroblast growth factor or vascular endothelial growth factor by a specific antibody on the development of the corpus luteum in the cow



Active angiogenesis and progesterone (P) synthesis occur in parallel during development of the corpus luteum (CL). Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are known to stimulate angiogenesis and P synthesis in vitro. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of bFGF or VEGF on the CL development in the cow by using a specific antibody against bFGF or VEGF. bFGF antibody, VEGF antibody, or saline as a control (n = 4 cows/treatment) were injected directly into the CL immediately after ovulation (Day 1), and the treatment was continued for 3 times/day over 7 days. Luteal biopsies were applied on Day 8 of the estrous cycle to determine the expression of genes associated with P synthesis and angiogenesis. Intraluteal injections with the bFGF antibody or the VEGF antibody markedly decreased the CL volume, plasma P concentration and StAR mRNA expression. bFGF antibody treatment decreased the mRNA expression of bFGF, FGF receptor-1, VEGF120, and angiopoietin (ANPT)-1, and increased ANPT-2/ANPT-1 ratio. However, VEGF antibody treatment decreased ANPT-2 mRNA expression and ANPT-2/ANPT-1 ratio. These results indicate that local neutralization of bFGF or VEGF changes genes regulating angiogenesis and P synthesis, and remarkably suppresses the CL size and P secretion during the development of CL in the cow, supporting the concept that bFGF and VEGF control the CL formation and function. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 75: 1449–1456, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.