Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1) has been demonstrated to have critical roles in angiogenesis via transcriptional regulation of angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In the ovary, angiogenesis is known to occur after ovulation in the developing corpus luteum (CL) in mammals. To determine whether HIF1 participates in angiogenesis in bovine CL, the present study investigated the mRNA and protein expressions of the HIF1 alpha subunit (HIF1A) and VEGF in bovine CL during the estrous cycle. The effects of hypoxia on the expressions of HIF1A protein, VEGF mRNA and VEGF protein in bovine luteal cells were also examined by using a cell culture system. HIF1A mRNA expression was less at the regressed stage than at the other stages, whereas protein expression of HIF1A was highest at the early luteal stage and decreased thereafter. VEGF mRNA expression was highest at the developing luteal stage and decreased thereafter. VEGF protein expression was highest at the early luteal stage and decreased significantly at the regressed luteal stage. Hypoxia increased the amounts of HIF1A protein, VEGF mRNA and VEGF protein in cultured bovine luteal cells. Furthermore, we found that hypoxia inhibited progesterone production in the mid luteal cells, but not in the early luteal cells. The overall findings indicate that HIF1 is one of the factors promoting VEGF-induced angiogenesis during luteal development, and suggest that the hypoxic conditions formed after follicle rupture contribute to establishing luteal vascularization in cattle.
- Corpus luteum
- Hypoxia-inducible factor 1
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology