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The effect of the intracervical application of follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone on the pattern of expression of gonadotrophin receptors in the cervix of non-pregnant ewes.

  • Leethongdee, S1
  • Khalid, M2
  • Scaramuzzi, R J2
  • 1 Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Mahasarakham University, Amphur Muang, Mahasarakham, Thailand. , (Thailand)
  • 2 The Royal Veterinary College, North Mimms, Hertfordshire, UK.
Published Article
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2014
DOI: 10.1111/rda.12312
PMID: 24754669


During the periovulatory period, the cervix relaxes in response to changes in circulating concentrations of reproductive hormones. The present study investigated the role of gonadotrophins in cervical function by examining the expression of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) and their mRNAs following intracervical treatment with either FSH or LH. Eighteen ewes were assigned to four groups, and they were then treated with progestagen sponges and PMSG to synchronize their oestrous cycles. Intracervical treatments were given 24 h after sponge removal as follows: Group 1: FSH 2 mg; Group 2: LH 2 mg; Group 3: Vehicle and Group 4: Control. Cervices were collected 54 h after sponge removal and then divided into three regions. The expression of FSHR and LHR was determined by immunohistochemistry and FSHR mRNA and LH mRNA by in situ hybridization. The expression of LHR, FSHR and their respective mRNAs was compared in six tissue layers (luminal epithelium, subepithelial stroma, circular, longitudinal and transverse muscle and serosa) and in three cervical regions (vaginal, mid and uterine). The results showed that FSH increased transcription of the FSHR gene and the levels of its receptor, but only in subepithelial stroma of the cervix. FSH also increased the levels of LHR in the cervix, but only in the muscle layers. LH had no effect on the levels of FSHR despite the fact that it did increase the level of transcription of the FSHR gene and LH also increased the levels of its own receptor in the cervix, but only in the muscle layers, and this action was independent of increased levels of transcription of the LHR gene. These findings suggest multiple levels of regulation of cervical LH and FSH receptors and that the gonadotrophins may have a role in relaxation of the cervix during oestrus by regulating their own receptors.

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