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Endocrinology. 2013 Oct;154(10):3864-76. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-2271. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Autocrine and paracrine mechanisms of prostaglandin E₂ action on trophoblast/conceptus cells through the prostaglandin E₂ receptor (PTGER2) during implantation.

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  • 1Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland.


The conceptus and endometrium secrete large amounts of prostaglandin E₂ (PGE₂) into the porcine uterine lumen during the periimplantation period. We hypothesized that PGE₂ acts on conceptus/trophoblast cells through auto- and paracrine mechanisms. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that PGE₂ receptor (PTGER)2 mRNA was 14-fold greater in conceptuses/trophoblasts on days 14-25 (implantation and early placentation period) vs preimplantation day 10-13 conceptuses (P < .05). Similarly, expression of PTGER2 protein increased during implantation. Conceptus expression of PTGER4 mRNA and protein did not differ on days 10-19. PGE₂ stimulated PTGER2 mRNA expression in day 15 trophoblast cells through PTGER2 receptor signaling. PGE₂ elevated aromatase expression and estradiol-17β secretion by trophoblast cells. Moreover, PGE₂ and the PTGER2 agonist, butaprost, increased the adhesive capacity of both human HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast and primary porcine trophoblast cells to extracellular matrix. This PGE₂-induced alteration in trophoblast cell adhesion to extracellular matrix was abolished by incubation of these cells with AH6809 (PTGER2 antagonist), ITGAVB3-directed tetrapeptide arg-gly-asp-ser or integrin ITGAVB3 antibody. PGE₂ stimulated adhesion of porcine trophoblast cells via the estrogen receptor and MEK/MAPK signaling pathway. PGE₂ induced phosphorylation of MAPK1/MAPK3 through PTGER2 and up-regulated expression of cell adhesion proteins such as focal adhesion kinase and intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Our study indicates that elevated PGE₂ in the periimplantation uterine lumen stimulates conceptus PTGER2 expression, which in turn promotes trophoblast adhesion via integrins, and synthesis and secretion of the porcine embryonic signal estradiol-17β. Moreover, the mechanism through which PGE₂ increases trophoblast adhesion is not species specific because it is PTGER2- and integrin-dependent in both porcine and human trophoblast cells.

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