Corpus luteum and early pregnancy in ruminants

Thomas R. Hansen, Rebecca Bott, Jared Romero, Alfredo Antoniazzi, John S. Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This review examines the function of the corpus luteum (CL) with emphasis on pregnancy in ruminant models and the possible impact of pregnancy in conferring luteal resistance to prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α). Critical processes involved with formation of the CL impact the capacity to secrete progesterone. Similarly, complete luteolysis is critically important in the event that pregnancy does not occur so that a new ovulation and opportunity for pregnancy is established. It is well known that serum progesterone must reach a critical nadir if ovulation and fertilization are to occur. Following fertilization, the function of the CL in providing adequate progesterone is critical in setting up an endometrial environment so that pregnancy is maintained. Benefi ts of supplemental progesterone during early pregnancy are inconsistent in ruminants. However, recent studies indicate that supplemental progesterone following artifi cial insemination (AI) may depend on the presence of the CL and the amount of progesterone released from the CL. The primary signal for maternal recognition of pregnancy, interferon-tau (IFNT), is secreted from the ruminant conceptus (embryo proper and extraembryonic membranes). IFNT disrupts release of PGF2α from the endometrium and is antiluteolytic through inhibiting uterine expression of the estradiol receptor (ESR1) or the oxytocin receptor (OXTR). Endocrine action of IFNT on peripheral blood mononuclear cells and on the CL may also contribute to immunomodulatory function and longer-term sustainability and function of the CL as pregnancy progresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Life Cycle of the Corpus Luteum
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319432380
ISBN (Print)9783319432366
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Corpus luteum
  • Interferon
  • Interferonstimulated genes
  • Leukocytes
  • Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
  • Pregnancy
  • Ruminants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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