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Piotr Kaczynski, Mariusz P Kowalewski, and Agnieszka Waclawik


Implantation in humans and other mammals is a critical period during which high embryonic mortality rates occur. Prostaglandins (PGs) are key mediators regulating interactions between the reproductive tract and the conceptus (embryo with extraembryonic membranes). Although the significance of PGF2α as a regulator of corpus luteum regression is well established, the role of its high amounts in the uterine lumen in most mammals, regardless of placentation type, during the implantation period remains unresolved. We hypothesized that PGF2α acting as an embryonic signal mediator contributes to pregnancy establishment. Using a porcine model, we demonstrated that the conceptus and its signal (estradiol-17β) elevated endometrial expression of PGF2α receptor (PTGFR) invivo and in vitro. PTGFR protein was expressed mainly in luminal epithelial (LE) and glandular epithelial cells and blood vessels in the endometrium. PGF2α stimulated the MAPK1/3 pathway in endometrial LE cells that coincided with elevated gene expression and secretion of endometrial vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) protein. PGF2α–PTGFR and adenylyl cyclase signaling were involved in this process. PGF2α-induced VEGFA acting through its receptors stimulated proliferation of endometrial endothelial cells. Moreover, PGF2α elevated gene expression of biglycan, matrix metalloproteinase 9, transforming growth factor β3, and interleukin 1α in the endometrium. In summary, our study indicates that PGF2α participates in pregnancy establishment by promoting angiogenesis and expression of genes involved in tissue remodeling and conceptus–maternal interactions in porcine endometrium during early pregnancy.

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E Przygrodzka, M M Kaczmarek, P Kaczynski, and A J Ziecik

In order to characterize the transition of the corpora lutea (CL) from acquisition of luteolytic sensitivity to rescue of luteal function: i) the expression of 38 factors associated with steroids, prostanoids, and angiogenic systems and ii) concentrations of the main hormones responsible for maintenance of CL function in cyclic and pregnant pigs were examined. Additionally, the effect of prostaglandin (PG) E2 and F2 α on luteal function during the estrous cycle and pregnancy was evaluated in vitro. Significantly up-regulated gene expression was revealed in CL collected on day 14 of the estrous cycle (CYP19A1, ESR2, PTGS2, HIF1A, and EDN1) and on days 12–14 of pregnancy (SCARB1, PGRMC1, STAR, HSD3B1, NR5A1, PTGFR, PTGER4, and VEGFA). Elevated concentrations of estradiol-17β and PGE2 occurred in CL on days 12 and 14 of pregnancy respectively, while an increased intraluteal PGF2 α content was noted on day 14 of the estrous cycle. Both PGs increased the synthesis of progesterone by cultured luteal slices obtained on day 14 of pregnancy, in contrast to the action of PGF2 α on the corresponding day of the estrous cycle. PGE2 stimulated cAMP production via PTGER2 and PTGER4, while PGF2 α elevated the content of CREB in cultured luteal slices from CL of pregnant pigs. In silico analysis showed that infiltration of lymphocytes and apoptosis of microvascular endothelium were activated in CL on day 12 of the estrous cycle vs pregnancy. Summarizing, an abundance of E2 and PGE2 during pregnancy regulates specific pathways responsible for steroidogenesis, the prostanoid signaling system and angiogenesis during rescue from luteolysis in porcine CL.