What are luteal cells?
The Corpus Luteum(CL) is an endocrine gland that grows temporarily on the ovary when an ovum(egg) is released. This gland contains luteal Cells.
- The mitochondria of these cells play an important role in progesterone biosynthesis.
- Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is vital to the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in all mammals.
- One of the ways that PGF2a causes early embryonic mortality is through depriving the corpus luteum of oxygen by restricting blood flow, inducing hypoxia.
Progesterone biosynthesis: how is progesterone made?
Production of progesterone requires a complex series of processes occurring within the ovaries during ovulation and early pregnancy and moving to the placenta as the pregnancy progresses. As illustrated in Figure 1, during ovulation, this series of processes includes:
- Corpus Luteum: With the primary function of secreting progesterone, the corpus luteum (CL), an endocrine gland, temporarily forms on the ovary during ovulation.
- After entering the mitochondria of the CL’s luteal cell, through a process regulated via the transfer steroid STARD1, cytosolic lipids are converted into pregnenolone.
- After transferring to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a process catalyzed by the enzyme 3BETA-HSD, converts pregnenolone into progesterone (8).
What's prostaglandin? What does it do?
Prostaglandin (PGF2a) is synthesized in the cell from the essential fatty acids through this process:
- Phospholipase hydrolyzes the the sn-2 acyl bond of phospholipids to release arachidonic acid.
- Cyclooxygenases then modifies arachidonic acid modifies arachidonic acid into PGF2.
How does fish oil come into play?
Previous results have indicated that Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the form of fish oil has increased the mobility of Bovine FP receptors on the plasma membrane of luteal cells. (1) Specifically, EPA and DHA in fish oil are responsible for causing the increased mobility of Bovine FP receptors.(8)
But why is that even important?
Hypothetically, introducing fish oil supplements into cells should reduce or eliminate the luteal cells sensitivity to PGF2a, which should decrease the early embryonic mortality rates as well as CL retardation. Besides these cellular effects of Fish Oil, it also increases energy within bovine. Bovines, especially Dairy species, require excessive amounts of energy to be able to reproduce. And we are using bovine corpus luteums' as test subjects.