Localization and steroid regulation of prostaglandin E2 receptor protein expression in ovine cervix

Thomas Schmitz, Brian A. Levine, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Although prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been identified as a central mediator of the cervical ripening process, the mechanisms responsible for PGE2 ripening are still poorly understood, partly because of the lack of information concerning the precise cellular localization and regulation of PGE2 (EP) receptors in the cervix. To provide new insights into the mechanisms of cervical ripening, we used indirect immunofluorescence to localize cervical EP receptor protein expression in ovariectornized ewes and examined the effect of administration of progesterone or estradiol. EP receptors were widely distributed in cervical blood vessels, epithelium of the cervical canal, circular and longitudinal muscles, and stroma. Estradiol replacement decreased EP1 and EP3 receptor protein in blood vessel media (by 23 and 31 % respectively, P < 0.05) and decreased EP1 receptor protein expression in the longitudinal muscle layer (by 27%, P< 0.05). Stromal EP1 and EP3 receptor protein expression was also reduced layer. This latter result suggests that cellular EP receptor localization is regulated by estradiol and that PGE2 may also control smooth muscle contraction and regulate ovine cervical dilatation in an intracrine manner via EP3 receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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