Progesterone regulation of preimplantation conceptus growth and galectin 15 (LGALS15) in the ovine uterus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Peri-implantation conceptus (embryo/fetus and associated extraembryonic membranes) growth and development are primarily regulated by secretions from the uterus. This study investigated the effects of progesterone on preimplantation conceptus development and endometrial galectin 15 (LGALS15). Ewes received daily injections of either corn oil (CO) vehicle or 25 mg progesterone (P4) from 36 h postmating to hysterectomy. Treatment with P4 increased blastocyst diameter by 220% on Day 9 and advanced time of elongation of blastocysts to a filamentous conceptus on Day 12. Effects of P4 treatment on blastocyst development were blocked by administration of RU486, a progesterone receptor antagonist. Consistent with early elongation of blastocysts, interferon tau (IFNT) protein was about 50-fold greater in uterine flushes from Day 12 in ewes receiving P4 compared with those receiving CO. Expression of cathepsin L (CTSL) and radical S-adenosyl methionine domain containing 2 (RSAD2), both IFNT-stimulated genes, was increased in endometria of Day 12 P4-treated ewes. LGALS15 mRNA, expressed only in the endometrial luminal epithelium and superficial glands, was detected between Days 9 and 12 and was more abundant in ewes receiving P4 than in those receiving CO on both Days 9 and 12. RU486 treatment ablated P4 induction of LGALS15 mRNA in the endometrial epithelia. LGALS15 protein in uterine flushings was not different on Day 9 but tended to be greater in P4-treated ewes than in those receiving CO on Day 12. The advanced development of blastocysts in P4-treated ewes is hypothesized to involve early induction of specific genes in the endometrial epithelia, such as LGALS15, and undoubtedly components of uterine histotroph.

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

author list (cited authors)

  • Satterfield, M. C., Bazer, F. W., & Spencer, T. E.

citation count

  • 157

complete list of authors

  • Satterfield, M Carey||Bazer, Fuller W||Spencer, Thomas E

publication date

  • August 2006