Interferon tau regulates PGF2alpha release from the ovine endometrial epithelial cells via activation of novel JAK/EGFR/ERK/EGR-1 pathways

Mol Endocrinol. 2010 Dec;24(12):2315-30. doi: 10.1210/me.2010-0205. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


In ruminants, pulsatile release of prostaglandin F2α (PGF(2α)) from the endometrium is transported to the ovary and induces luteolysis thereby allowing new estrous cycle. Interferon tau (IFNT), a type 1 IFN secreted by the trophoblast cells of the developing conceptus, acts on endometrial luminal epithelial (LE) cells and inhibits pulsatile release of PGF(2α) and establishes pregnancy. One of the unknown mechanisms is that endometrial pulsatile release of PGF(2α) is inhibited whereas basal release of PGF(2α) is increased in pregnant compared with nonpregnant sheep. We have recently found that pulsatile release of PGF(2α) from the endometrium is regulated by prostaglandin transporter (PGT)-mediated mechanisms. We hypothesize that modulation in the endometrial pulsatile vs. basal release of PGF(2α) likely requires PGT-mediated selective transport, and IFNT interacts with PGT protein and modulates pulsatile vs. basal release of PGF(2α). The new findings of the present study are: 1) IFNT activates novel JAK-SRC kinase-EGFR-RAS-RAF-ERK1/2-early growth response (EGR)-1 signaling module in LE cells; 2) IFNT increases interactions between PGT and ERK1/2 or EGR-1 proteins and alters phosphorylation of PGT protein; 3) IFNT precludes action of protein kinase C and Ca(2+) on PGT function; and 4) IFNT inhibits 80% PGT-mediated but not 20% simple diffusion-mediated release of PGF(2α) from the endometrial LE cells through this novel signaling module. The results of the present study provide important new insights on IFNT signaling and molecular control of PGT-mediated release of PGF(2α) and unravel the underlying mechanisms responsible for the increased basal release of PGF(2α) at the time of establishment of pregnancy in ruminants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Diffusion
  • Dinoprost / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Dinoprost / metabolism*
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Endometrium / cytology
  • Endometrium / enzymology
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism*
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism*
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism
  • Ovary / enzymology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Sheep


  • EGR1 protein, human
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Interferon Type I
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Pregnancy Proteins
  • SLCO2A1 protein, human
  • interferon tau
  • Dinoprost
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Janus Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Calcium