Basic fibroblast growth factor induces proliferation and collagen production by fibroblasts derived from the bovine corpus luteum†

Corrine F. Monaco, Michele R. Plewes, Emilia Przygrodzka, Jitu W. George, Fang Qiu, Peng Xiao, Jennifer R. Wood, Andrea S. Cupp, John S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cyclic regression of the ovarian corpus luteum, the endocrine gland responsible for progesterone production, involves rapid matrix remodeling. Despite fibroblasts in other systems being known for producing and maintaining extracellular matrix, little is known about fibroblasts in the functional or regressing corpus luteum. Vast transcriptomic changes occur in the regressing corpus luteum, among which are reduced levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) after 4 and 12 h of induced regression, when progesterone is declining and the microvasculature is destabilizing. We hypothesized that FGF2 activates luteal fibroblasts. Analysis of transcriptomic changes during induced luteal regression revealed elevations in markers of fibroblast activation and fibrosis, including fibroblast activation protein (FAP), serpin family E member 1 (SERPINE1), and secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1). To test our hypothesis, we treated bovine luteal fibroblasts with FGF2 to measure downstream signaling, type 1 collagen production, and proliferation. We observed rapid and robust phosphorylation of various signaling pathways involved in proliferation, such as ERK, AKT, and STAT1. From our longer-term treatments, we determined that FGF2 has a concentration-dependent collagen-inducing effect, and that FGF2 acts as a mitogen for luteal fibroblasts. FGF2-induced proliferation was greatly blunted by inhibition of AKT or STAT1 signaling. Our results suggest that luteal fibroblasts are responsive to factors that are released by the regressing bovine corpus luteum, an insight into the contribution of fibroblasts to the microenvironment in the regressing corpus luteum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 12 2023


  • PGF2α
  • corpus luteum
  • fibroblast
  • fibroblast growth factor
  • fibrosis
  • luteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine


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