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

Bovine corpus luteum is an extrapituitary site of prolactin production.

Prolactin (PRL) is known to be synthesized not only in the anterior pituitary, but also in other organs including the ovary. Among its various functions, PRL is regarded as the most important constituent of the luteotropic complex in rodents and pigs. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether PRL is produced locally in bovine corpus luteum ( CL) and to determine its possible roles in CL. In the present study, we examined changes during the luteal phase in (1) the expressions of PRL and PRL receptors (long form: l-PRLR, short form: s-PRLR) in CL and (2) the localization of PRL in CL. We also measured the levels of PRL mRNA in cultured luteal cells and luteal endothelial cells. Furthermore, the effect of PRL on progesterone (P4) and prostaglandin (PG) F2alpha production by cultured bovine luteal cells was examined. Semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that the mRNAs for PRL and its two receptors, l- and s-PRLR, were expressed in all luteal stages examined. PRL mRNA expression was less in the regressed stage (days 19-21 after ovulation) than in the other stages. Both l-PRLR and s-PRLR mRNA expressions were higher in the late luteal stage (days 15-17) than in the other stages, while the ratio of l-PRLR to s-PRLR was less in the regressed stage than in the other stages. PRL mRNA was also detected in cultured luteal cells and luteal endothelial cells. PRL protein was immunohistochemically detected only in CL of the mid- and regressed stages. It was detected in smooth muscle cells of the intraluteal arterioles and endothelial cells but not in luteal cells and other cell types of CL. Exposure of cultured luteal cells obtained from mid-stage CL (days 8-12) to bovine PRL (100, 200 ng/ml) for 24 hr did not affect P4 and PGF2alpha production by the cells. The present study demonstrates for the first time the expressions of PRL and PRLR mRNA in bovine CL throughout the luteal phase. The overall results strongly suggest that the bovine CL is an extrapituitary site of PRL production.[1]


  1. Bovine corpus luteum is an extrapituitary site of prolactin production. Shibaya, M., Murakami, S., Tatsukawa, Y., Skarzynski, D.J., Acosta, T.J., Okuda, K. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
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