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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Progesterone is a suppressor of apoptosis in bovine luteal cells.

Progesterone is suggested to be a suppressor of apoptosis in bovine luteal cells. Fas antigen ( Fas) is a cell surface receptor that triggers apoptosis in sensitive cells. Furthermore, apoptosis is known to be controlled by the bcl-2 gene/protein family and caspases. This study was undertaken to determine whether intraluteal progesterone (P4) is involved in Fas L- mediated luteal cell death in the bovine corpus luteum ( CL) in vitro. Moreover, we studied whether an antagonist of P4 influences gene expression of the bcl-2 family and caspase-3 and the activity of caspase-3 in the bovine CL. Luteal cells obtained from the cows in the midluteal phase of the estrous cycle (Days 8-12 of the cycle) were exposed to a specific P4 antagonist (onapristone [OP], 10(-4) M) with or without 100 ng/ml Fas L. Although Fas L alone did not show a cytotoxic effect, treatment of the cells with OP alone or in combination with Fas L resulted in killing of 30% and 45% of the cells, respectively (P <0.05). DNA fragmentation was observed in the cells treated with Fas L in the presence of OP. The inhibition of P4 action by OP increased the expression of Fas mRNA (P <0.01); however, it did not affect bax or bcl-2 mRNA expression (P >0.05). Moreover, OP stimulated expression of caspase-3 mRNA (P <0.01). The overall results indirectly show that intraluteal P4 suppresses apoptosis in bovine luteal cells through the inhibition of Fas and caspase-3 mRNA expression and inhibition of caspase-3 activation.[1]


  1. Progesterone is a suppressor of apoptosis in bovine luteal cells. Okuda, K., Korzekwa, A., Shibaya, M., Murakami, S., Nishimura, R., Tsubouchi, M., Woclawek-Potocka, I., Skarzynski, D.J. Biol. Reprod. (2004) [Pubmed]
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