Paracrine release of ovine interferon tau (oIFNT) from the conceptus alters release of endometrial prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF) and prevents luteolysis. Endocrine release of oIFNT into the uterine vein occurs by Day 15 of pregnancy and may impart resistance of the corpus luteum (CL) to PGF. It was hypothesized that infusion of recombinant oIFNT (roIFNT) into the uterine or jugular veins on Day 10 of the estrous cycle would protect the CL against exogenous PGF-induced luteolysis. Osmotic pumps were surgically installed in 24 ewes to deliver bovine serum albumin (BSA; n = 12) or roIFNT (200 μg/day; n = 12) for 24 h into the uterine vein. Six ewes in each treatment group received a single injection of PGF (4 mg/58 kg body weight) 12 h after pump installation. In a second experiment, BSA or roIFNT was delivered at 20 or 200 μg/day into the uterine vein or 200 μg/day into the jugular vein for 72 h in 30 ewes. One half of these ewes received an injection of PGF 24 h after pump installation. Concentrations of progesterone in serum declined in BSA-treated ewes injected with PGF, but were sustained in all ewes infused with 20 μg/day of roIFNT into the uterine vein and 200 μg of roIFNT into the jugular vein followed 24 h later with injection of PGF. All concentrations of roIFNT and modes of delivery (uterine or jugular vein) increased luteal concentrations of IFN-stimulated gene (i.e., ISG15) mRNA. Infusion of 200 μg of IFNT over 24 h induced greater mRNA concentrations for cell survival genes, such as BCL2-like 1 (BCL2L1 or Bcl-xL), serine/threonine kinase (AKT), and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) and decreased prostaglandin F receptor (PTGFR) mRNA concentrations, when compared to controls. It is concluded that endocrine delivery of roIFNT, regardless of route (uterine or jugular vein), effectively protects CL from the luteolytic actions of PGF by mechanisms that involve ISGs and stabilization of cell survival genes.
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Vol. 88 • No. 6