Regulation of corpus luteum function in cattle--an overview

Reproduction in Domestic Animals = Zuchthygiene
Dieter Schams, Bajram Berisha


The corpus luteum (CL) is a transient reproductive gland that produces progesterone (P), required for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Although the regulation of bovine luteal function has been studied for several decades, many of the regulatory mechanisms involved are incompletely understood. We are far from understanding how these complex mechanisms function in unison. The purpose of this overview is to stress important steps of regulation during the lifetime of CL. In the first part, the importance and regulation of angiogenesis and blood flow during CL formation is described. The results underline the importance of growth factors especially of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF A) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) for development and completion of a dense network of capillaries. In the second part, the regulation of function by endocrine/paracrine- and autocrine-acting regulators is discussed. There is now more evidence that besides the main endocrine hormones LH and GH local regulators as growth factors, peptides, steroids and prostaglandins are important modulators of luteal function. During early CL development until mid-luteal stage oxytocin, prostaglandins and P itself stimulate luteal c...Continue Reading


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