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14 November 2017 Progesterone, the maternal immune system and the onset of parturition in the mouse
Lydia F. Edey, Hector Georgiou, Kieran P. O'Dea, Sam Mesiano, Bronwen R. Herbert, Kaiyu Lei, Renyi Hua, Danijela Markovic, Simon N. Waddington, David MacIntyre, Philip Bennett, Masao Takata, Mark R. Johnson
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Abstract

The role of progesterone (P4) in the regulation of the local (uterine) and systemic innate immune system, myometrial expression of connexin 43 (Cx-43) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), and the onset of parturition was examined in (i) naïve mice delivering at term; (ii) E16mice treated with RU486 (P4-antagonist) to induce preterm parturition; and (iii) in mice treated with P4 to prevent term parturition. In naïve mice, myometrial neutrophil and monocyte numbers peaked at E18 and declined with the onset of parturition. In contrast, circulating monocytes did not change and although neutrophils were increased with pregnancy, they did not change across gestation. The myometrial mRNA and protein levels of most chemokines/cytokines, Cx-43, and COX-2 increased with, but not before, parturition. With RU486-induced parturition, myometrial and systemic neutrophil numbers increased before and myometrial monocyte numbers increased with parturition only. Myometrial chemokine/cytokine mRNA abundance increased with parturition, but protein levels peaked earlier at between 4.5 and 9 h post-RU486. Cx-43, but not COX-2, mRNA expression and protein levels increased prior to the onset of parturition. In mice treated with P4, the gestation-linked increase in myometrial monocyte, but not neutrophil, numbers was prevented, and expression of Cx-43 and COX-2 was reduced. On E20 of P4 supplementation,myometrial chemokine/cytokine and leukocyte numbers, but not Cx-43 and COX-2 expression, increased. These data show that during pregnancy P4 controls myometrial monocyte infiltration, cytokine and prolabor factor synthesis via mRNAdependent and independent mechanisms and, with prolonged P4 supplementation, P4 action is repressed resulting in increased myometrial inflammation.

Summary Sentence

Progesterone independently regulates the maternal immune system and the onset of parturition in the mouse.

© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Lydia F. Edey, Hector Georgiou, Kieran P. O'Dea, Sam Mesiano, Bronwen R. Herbert, Kaiyu Lei, Renyi Hua, Danijela Markovic, Simon N. Waddington, David MacIntyre, Philip Bennett, Masao Takata, and Mark R. Johnson "Progesterone, the maternal immune system and the onset of parturition in the mouse ," Biology of Reproduction 98(3), 376-395, (14 November 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox146
Received: 28 June 2017; Accepted: 13 November 2017; Published: 14 November 2017
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