Pregnancy-associated genes contribute to antiluteolytic mechanisms in ovine corpus luteum

Jared J. Romero, Alfredo Q. Antoniazzi, Natalia P. Smirnova, Brett T. Webb, Fang Yu, John S. Davis, Thomas R. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that ovine luteal gene expression differs due to pregnancy status and day of estrous cycle was tested. RNA was isolated from corpora lutea (CL) on days 12 and 14 of the estrous cycle (NP) or pregnancy (P) and analyzed with the Affymetrix bovine microarray. RNA also was isolated from luteal cells on day 10 of estrous cycle that were cultured for 24 h with luteolytic hormones (OXT and PGF) and secretory products of the conceptus (IFNT and PGE2). Differential gene expression (>1.5-fold, P < 0.05) was confirmed using semiquantitative real-time PCR. Serum progesterone concentrations decreased from day 12 to day 15 in NP ewes (P < 0.05) reflecting luteolysis and remained >1.7 ng/ml in P ewes reflecting rescue of the CL. Early luteolysis (days 12-14) was associated with differential expression of 683 genes in the CL, including upregulation of SERPINE1 and THBS1. Pregnancy on day 12 (55 genes) and 14 (734 genes) also was associated with differential expression of genes in the CL, many of which were ISGs (i.e., ISG15, MX1) that were induced when culturing luteal cells with IFNT, but not PGE2. Finally, many genes, such as PTX3, IL6, VEGF, and LHR, were stabilized during pregnancy and downregulated during the estrous cycle and in response to culture of luteal cells with luteolytic hormones. In conclusion, pregnancy circumvents luteolytic pathways and activates or stabilizes genes associated with interferon, chemokine, cell adhesion, cytoskeletal, and angiogenic pathways in the CL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1108
Number of pages14
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2013


  • Corpus luteum
  • Interferon
  • Luteolysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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