Background: Corpus luteum ( CL) regression is known to occur as two parts; functional regression when steroidogenesis declines and structural regression when apoptosis is induced. Previous studies suggest this process occurs by the production of luteolytic factors, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).Methods: We examined TNF-alpha, TNF-alpha receptors (TNFR1 and 2) and steroidogenic acute regulatory ( StAR) protein expression during CL regression in albino Wistar rats. CL from Days 16 and 22 of pregnancy and Day 3 post-partum were examined, in addition CL from Day 16 of pregnancy were cultured in vitro to induce apoptosis. mRNA was quantitated by kinetic RT-PCR and protein expression examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses.Results: TNF-alpha mRNA increased on Day 3 post-partum. TNFR were immunolocalized to luteal cells, and an increase in TNFR2 mRNA observed on Day 3 post-partum whilst no change was detected in TNFR1 mRNA relative to Day 16. StAR protein decreased on Day 3 post-partum and following trophic withdrawal but no change was observed following exogenous TNF-alpha treatment. StAR mRNA decreased on Day 3 post-partum; however, it increased following trophic withdrawal and TNF-alpha treatment in vitro.Conclusion: These results demonstrate the existence of TNFR1 and TNFR2 in rat CL and suggest the involvement of TNF-alpha in rat CL regression following parturition. Furthermore, decreased StAR expression over the same time points was consistent with the functional regression of the CL.
Abdo, M., Hisheh, S., Arfuso, F., & Dharmarajan, A. (2008). The expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, its receptors and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein during corpus luteum regression. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 6(50), online - approx 5-20pp. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-6-50