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Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 26;9(1):17612. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54064-7.

Early pregnancy loss in 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase knockout (15-HPGD-/-) mice due to requirement for embryo 15-HPGD activity.

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Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes (JDR), and, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 19104.
Osaka Shiritsu Sogo Iryo Center, Osaka, Japan.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MT, HHT), College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40536, USA.
Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth (LJM), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA.


Prostaglandins (PGs) have critical signaling functions in a variety of processes including the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, and the initiation of labor. Most PGs are non-enzymatically degraded, however, the two PGs most prominently implicated in the termination of pregnancy, including the initiation of labor, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin F2α (PGF), are enzymatically degraded by 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-HPGD). The role of PG metabolism by 15-HPGD in the maintenance of pregnancy remains largely unknown, as direct functional studies are lacking. To test the hypothesis that 15-PGDH-mediated PG metabolism is essential for pregnancy maintenance and normal labor timing, we generated and analyzed pregnancy in 15-HPGD knockout mice (Hpgd-/-). We report here that pregnancies resulting from matings between 15-HPGD KO mice (Hpgd-/- X Hpgd-/-KO mating) are terminated at mid gestation due to a requirement for embryo derived 15-HPGD. Aside from altered implantation site spacing, pregnancies from KO matings look grossly and histologically normal at days post coitum (dpc) 6.5 and 7.5 of pregnancy. However, virtually all of these pregnancies are resorbed by dpc 8.5. This resorption is preceded by elevation of PGF2∝ but is not preceded by a decrease in circulating progesterone, suggesting that pregnancy loss is a local inflammatory phenomenon rather than a centrally mediated phenomena. This pregnancy loss can be temporarily deferred by indomethacin treatment, but treated pregnancies are not maintained to term and indomethacin treatment increases maternal mortality. We conclude that PG metabolism to inactive products by embryo derived 15-HPGD is essential for pregnancy maintenance in mice, and may serve a similar function during human pregnancy.

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