Possible role of interferon tau on the bovine corpus luteum and neutrophils during the early pregnancy

Koumei Shirasuna, Haruka Matsumoto, Shuichi Matsuyama, Koji Kimura, Heinrich Bollwein, Akio Miyamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


When pregnancy is established, interferon tau (IFNT), a well-known pregnancy recognition signal in ruminants, is secreted by embryonic trophoblast cells and acts within the uterus to prepare for pregnancy. IFNT acts as an endocrine factor on the corpus luteum (CL) to induce refractory ability against the luteolytic action of PGF. Hypothesising that IFNT may influence not only the uterine environment but also the CL in cows via local or peripheral circulation, we investigated qualitative changes in the CL of pregnant cows during the maternal recognition period (day 16) and the CL of non-pregnant cows. The CL of pregnant animals had a higher number of neutrophils, and the expression of interleukin 8 (IL8) mRNA and its protein was higher as well as compared with the CL of non-pregnant animals. Although IFNT did not affect progesterone (P4) secretion and neutrophil migration directly, it stimulated IL8 mRNA expression on luteal cells (LCs), influencing the neutrophils, resulting in the increased migration of IFNT-activated neutrophils. Moreover, both IFNT-activated neutrophils and IL8 increased P4 secretion from LCs in vitro. Our novel finding was the increase in neutrophils and IL8 within the CL of pregnant cows, suggesting the involvement of IFNT function within the CL toward establishment of pregnancy in cows. The present results suggest that IFNT upregulates neutrophil numbers and function via IL8 on LCs in the CL of early pregnant cows and that both neutrophils and IL8, stimulated by IFNT, are associated with an increase in P4 concentrations during the maternal recognition period in cows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Cell Biology


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