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

Accumulation of cyclooxygenase-2 gene transcripts in uterine tissues of pregnant and parturient cows: stimulation by oxytocin.

Cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1 and COX-2) mRNA were measured by ribonuclease protection assays in total RNA extracted from intercaruncular and caruncular endometrium, myometrium, cotyledons, and cervical mucosa of pregnant cows. Tissues were obtained at gestational ages of 150 days and 275 days and at term not in labor, at term in labor, and 6-12 h postpartum. Additionally, the effect of oxytocin ( OT) on COX-2 expression was determined in intercaruncular endometrium of six third-trimester cows (between 230 and 270 days of pregnancy), three of which were injected with OT (200 IU) and three with saline 2 h before tissues were harvested. Prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2alpha) metabolite was measured in plasma samples taken at 15-min intervals before and after the injections. Results showed that COX-2 mRNA was expressed in every type of tissue examined, although in different concentrations and beginning at different stages. Other than in seminal vesicular and prostate glands used as positive controls, low concentrations of COX-1 mRNA were detected only in myometrium and caruncles. Cotyledons had the highest concentration of COX-2 transcripts at all stages studied. Caruncles had about half the concentration of COX-2 transcripts that was seen in cotyledons, and on Day 150 even less. COX-2 mRNA expression in both tissues increased with advancing gestation, but there was no difference between samples from term-no-labor and term-in-labor cows. COX-2 mRNA concentrations in endometrium and myometrium were low; they varied randomly during pregnancy with no significant increase until postpartum, when COX-2 transcripts in endometrium had increased severalfold whereas those in myometrium were similar to values before parturition. Cervical mucosa expressed COX-2 mRNA weakly until term but had increased markedly at parturition. Injection of 200 IU of OT induced a substantial increase in endometrial COX-2 mRNA concentration within 2 h; this was associated with linearly increasing plasma concentrations of 13, 14-hydroxy-15-keto-prostaglandin F2alpha, which were still rising at termination of the experiment. The results suggest that endogenous OT is a major factor in induction of COX-2 expression and PGF2alpha release at term and during parturition in cows.[1]


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