Endothelial cells (EC) of the bovine corpus luteum (CL) are a known source of proinflammatory mediators, including monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (CCL2) and endothelin 1 (EDN1). Here, a coculture system was devised to determine if immune cells and PGF2α together affect CCL2 and EDN1 secretion by EC. Luteal EC were cultured either alone or together with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and treated without or with PGF2α for 48 h (n = 6 experiments). Coculture of EC with PBMC increased CCL2 secretion an average of 5-fold higher compared with either cell type alone (P < 0.05). Basal secretion of EDN1 by EC was substantial (∼2 ng/ml), but was not affected by coculture with PBMC (P > 0.05). EC cocultured with concanavalin A-activated PBMC (ActPBMC) increased CCL2 secretion an average of 12-fold higher compared with controls (P < 0.05), but again, EDN1 secretion was unchanged (P > 0.05). Interestingly, PGF2α did not alter either CCL2 or EDN1 secretion, regardless of culture conditions (P > 0.05). In a second series of experiments (n = 3 experiments), mixed luteal cells (MLC) were cultured alone or with PBMC as described above. Secretion of CCL2 and EDN1 was not affected by coculture or by PGF2α (P > 0.05), but MLC produced less progesterone in the presence of ActPBMC (P < 0.05). Collectively, these results suggest that immune cells and EC can interact cooperatively to increase CCL2 secretion in the CL, but this interaction does not affect EDN1 secretion nor is it influenced by PGF2α. Additionally, activated immune cells appear to produce a factor that impairs progesterone production by luteal steroidogenic cells.
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