Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Temporal regulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, heat shock protein 70 and activating transcription factor 3 during prostaglandin F-induced luteal regression in pseudopregnant rats following heat stress

Wu-jiao Bai A , Peng-jing Jin A , Mei-qian Kuang A , Quan-wei Wei A , Fang-xiong Shi A , John S. Davis B and Da-gan Mao A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210095, China.

B VA Nebraska–Western Iowa Health Care System and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: maodagan@njau.edu.cn

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(6) 1184-1193 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15415
Submitted: 15 October 2015  Accepted: 17 March 2016   Published: 12 May 2016

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of heat stress on heat shock protein (HSP) 70 expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and protein kinase (PK) B signalling during prostaglandin F (PGF)-induced luteal regression. During pseudopregnancy, rats were exposed to heat stress (HS, 40°C, 2 h) for 7 days and treated with PGF or physiological saline on Day 7; serum and ovaries were collected 0, 1, 2, 8 or 24 h after PGF treatment. The early inhibitory effect of PGF on progesterone was reduced in HS rats. HSP70 expression in response to PGF was significantly enhanced in HS rats. PGF-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 was significantly greater in the HS group; however, HS rats exhibited elevated basal levels of phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, but not ERK1/2. PGF treatment increased expression of activating transcription factor (ATF) 3 at 2 h, which was inhibited by heat stress. Evaluating PKB signalling revealed that phosphorylation of p-Akt (Thr308 and Ser473) was reduced at 8 and 24 h after PGF treatment in both non-heat stress (NHS) and HS groups, but there were no significant differences between the HS and NHS groups at any of the time points. In conclusion, the present study provides further evidence that heat stress may enhance HSP70 and affect ERK1/2 and ATF3 expression, but not Akt activation, during PGF-induced luteal regression in pseudopregnant rats.

Additional keywords: Akt, corpus luteum, elevated temperature, luteolysis, mitogen-activated protein kinase, p38 MAPK, progesterone.


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