Expression and Localization of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and its Receptors in the Corpus Luteum During Oestrous Cycle in Water Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)


Author's address (for correspondence): M Sarkar, Physiology & Climatology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, 243122 Uttar Pradesh, India. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to document the expression and localization of VEGF system comprising of VEGF isoforms (VEGF 120, VEGF 164 and VEGF 188) and their receptors (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2) in buffalo corpus luteum (CL) obtained from different stages of the oestrous cycle. Real-time RT-PCR (qPCR), Western blot and immunohistochemistry were applied to investigate mRNA expression, protein expression and localization of examined factors. In general, all the components of VEGF system (the VEGF isoforms and their receptors) were found in the water buffalo CL during the oestrous cycle. The mRNA as well as protein expression of VEGF system was highest during the early and mid-luteal phase, which later steadily decreased (p < 0.05) after day 10 to reach the lowest level in regressed CL. As demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, VEGF protein was localized predominantly in luteal cells; however, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 were localized in luteal cells as well as in endothelial cells. In conclusion, the dynamics of expression and localization of VEGF system in buffalo corpora lutea during the luteal phase were demonstrated in this study, indicating the possible role of VEGF system in the regulation of luteal angiogenesis and proliferation of luteal as well as endothelial cells through their non-angiogenic function.