Submitted to: American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Lewis, G.S., Wulster-Radcliffe, M.C. 2006. Prostaglandin F2ALPHA up regulates uterine immune defenses in the presence of the immunosuppressive steriod progesterone. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 56:102-111. Interpretive Summary: Exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha enhances immune functions and improves the ability of the uterus to resolve infections. Because this effect was evident even when progesterone concentrations were increased, exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha seems to have effects on the resolution of uterine infections that are independent of its effects on luteal progesterone production. Based on these data, immunostimulatory compounds, such as prostaglandin F2alpha, that target the uterus have the potential to become alternatives, or adjuncts, to the use of antibiotics to prevent or treat uterine infections in livestock, with the goal of improving uterine health and reproductive efficiency.
Technical Abstract: Uterine infections often develop in some livestock species during the first luteal phase postpartum, soon after progesterone concentrations begin to increase. Progesterone is a potent immunosuppressive molecule that makes the uterus susceptible to infections. Exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha induces luteolysis, reduces progesterone concentrations, and enables the uterus to resolve infections. However, the effects of prostaglandin F2alpha on luteal function and on immune functions are confounded. These effects must be disentangled to determine whether alternatives to antibiotic treatments can be successfully developed. Thus, a study was conducted to disentangle the effects of prostaglandin F2alpha on luteal function and the effects of prostaglandin F2alpha on immune functions. Treatments were in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement. Main effects were ovariectomy or sham on day 0 (i.e., estrus), exogenous progesterone or sesame oil from day 0 through 11, and exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha or saline on day 9. Intrauterine inoculations with Arcanobacterium pyogenes and Escherichia coli were administered on day 6. Ewes that were treated with exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha either did not have uterine infections, infections were less severe, or infections were resolving when uteri were examined on day 12, despite increased progesterone. Exogenous prostaglandin F2alpha has effects on the resolution of uterine infections that are independent of its effects on luteal progesterone production.