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Reproduction. 2011 Dec;142(6):879-92. doi: 10.1530/REP-11-0157. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Possible involvement of IFNT in lymphangiogenesis in the corpus luteum during the maternal recognition period in the cow.

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Graduate School of Animal and Food Hygiene, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Japan.


The corpus luteum (CL), which secretes large amounts of progesterone and is thus essential for establishing pregnancy, contains various types of immune cells that may play essential roles in CL function by generating immune responses. The lymphatic system is the second circulation system and is necessary for immune function, but the lymphatic system of the bovine CL has not been characterized in detail. We collected bovine CLs on days 12 and 16 of the estrous cycle (C12 and C16) and days 16 and 40 of early pregnancy (P16 and P40). Lymphatic endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE1) protein was detected in the CL by immunohistochemistry and western blotting and increased at P40 compared with C16. The mRNA expression levels of lymphangiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGFC), VEGFD, and their common receptor VEGFR3, as well as the lymphatic endothelial cell (LyEC) marker podoplanin, increased in P16 and P40 CLs. Thus, it is suggested that the lymphatic system of the bovine CL reconstitutes during early pregnancy. Interferon tau (IFNT) from the conceptus in the uterus is a candidate for activating luteal lymphangiogenesis during the maternal recognition period (MRP). We found that treatment of LyECs isolated from internal iliac lymphatic vessels with IFNT stimulated LyEC proliferation and significantly increased mRNA expression of VEGFC and IFN-stimulated gene 15. Moreover, both IFNT and VEGFC induced LyECs to form capillary-like tubes in vitro. In conclusion, it is suggested that new lymphangiogenesis in the bovine CL begins during the MRP and that IFNT may mediate this novel phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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