A review of luteolytic and luteotrophic effects of prostaglandins on the corpus luteum of pseudopregnant rabbits: some in vivo and in vitro insights


  • C. Boiti Università di Perugia




For many years prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2a have been known to exert luteotrophic and luteolytic actions on the corpus luteum (CL) of most mammalian species. Although the modalities by which the CL regulates normal reproductive cycles and maintenance of pregnancy are basically similar, increasing evidence suggests that severa! unique mechanisms regulating the growth and regression of CL exist between different species. In this respect, the corpus luteum of rabbits has not been as extensively studied as that of other farm or laboratory animals and very often the experimental data conflict. This reviews presents what is currently known about the actions of these two prostaglandins by critically examining their in vivo and in vitro effects. In non-pregnant and normally cycling animals, uterine PGF2a causes the CL to spontaneously regress at approximately 14-16 days post-ovulation depending on the species. Exogenous PGF2a administration may be used to cause CL regression and thus control the ovarían cycle. In the rabbit, however, because it does not have a defined cycle, this luteolytic mechanism comes into play only in the case of pseudopregnancy or pregnancy. The PGF2a analogue, alfaprostol, will reduce the diestrous phase at day 9 of pseudopregnancy In pregnant rabbits, PGF2a (and its synthetic analogues) is the hormone of choice for induction and synchronisation of kindling, having beneficial effects on postpartum fertility.


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