Temporal relationship between proliferating and apoptotic hormone-producing and endothelial cells in the equine corpus luteum

Javier Aguilar, H. M. Fraser, H. Wilson, Eddie Clutton, Darren Shaw, Elaine Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The temporal relationship between endothelial cell death, vascular regression and the death of hormone-producing cells in the mare has not been established. To determine the dynamics of cell proliferation and death throughout the luteal phase, corpora lutea were studied at the early, mid- and late luteal phase, and after treatment with cloprostenol in the mid-luteal phase to induce premature luteolysis. Changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis were investigated utilising specific markers (phosphorylated histone-3 and activated caspase-3 respectively). Histone-3 positive cells were most abundant during the early luteal phase, and were mainly present in endothelial cells. Histone-3 activity significantly increased in hormone-producing cells 36 h after cloprostenol treatment. Frequency of activated caspase-3 staining peaked on day 14, and was induced by 36 h after cloprostenol administration in mid-luteal phase. However, cell death occurred simultaneously in the endothelial and hormone-producing cells. These results show that a subset of hormone-producing cells enter the early stages of cell division around luteolysis, while the majority of cells are undergoing cell death. Natural and induced functional and structural luteal regression in the mare can be at least partially attributed to simultaneous apoptosis of endothelial and hormone-producing cells. However, there is no evidence that endothelial cell death is the trigger for naturally occurring luteolysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalReproduction
Volume132
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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