Growth and Regression in Bovine Corpora Lutea: Regulation by Local Survival and Death Pathways

Authors

  • DJ Skarzynski,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland
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  • KK Piotrowska-Tomala,

    1. Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland
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  • K Lukasik,

    1. Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland
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  • A Galvão,

    1. Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland
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  • S Farberov,

    1. Department of Animal Sciences, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
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  • Y Zalman,

    1. Department of Animal Sciences, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
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  • R Meidan

    1. Department of Animal Sciences, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
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Author's address (for correspondence): DJ Skarzynski, Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences. Bydgoska 7 Str, 10-243 Olsztyn, Poland. E-mail: d.skarzynski@pan.olsztyn.pl

Contents

The bovine corpus luteum (CL) is a transient gland with a life span of only 18 days in the cyclic cow. Mechanisms controlling CL development and secretory function may involve factors produced both within and outside this gland. Although luteinizing hormone (LH) surge is the main trigger of ovulation and granulosa cells luteinization, many locally produced agents such as arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites, growth factors and cytokines were shown to complement gonadotropins action in the process of CL development. Bovine CL is a highly vascular gland, where the very rapid angiogenesis rate (until Day 5 of the cycle) results in the development of a capillary network, endowing this gland with one of the highest blood flow rate per unit mass in the body. Angiogenesis in the developing CL is later followed by either controlled regression of the microvascular tree in the non-fertile cycle or maintenance and stabilization of the blood vessels, as seen during pregnancy. Different luteal cell types (both steroidogenic and accessory luteal cells: immune cells, endothelial cells, pericytes and fibroblasts) are involved in the pro- and/or anti-angiogenic responses. The balance between pro- and anti-angiogenic responses to the main luteolysin – prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) could be decisive in whether or not PGF2α induces CL regression. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) may be one of the factors that modulate the angiogenic response to PGF2α. Manipulation of local production and action of FGF2 will provide new tools for reproductive management of dairy cattle. Luteolysis is characterized by a rapid decrease in progesterone production, followed by structural regression. Factors like endothelin-1, cytokines (tumour necrosis factorα, interferons) and nitric oxide were all shown to play critical roles in functional and structural regression of the CL by inhibiting steroidogenesis and inducting apoptosis.

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