Phytoestrogens modulate prostaglandin production in bovine endometrium: Cell type specificity and intracellular mechanisms

Izabela Woclawek-Potocka, Tomas J. Acosta, Anna Korzekwa, Mamadou M. Bah, Masami Shibaya, Kiyoshi Okuda, Dariusz J. Skarzynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Prostaglandins (PGs) are known to modulate the proper cyclicity of bovine reproductive organs. The main luteolytic agent in ruminants is PGF , whereas PGE2 has luteotropic actions. Estradiol 17β (E2) regulates uterus function by influencing PG synthesis. Phytoestrogens structurally resemble E2 and possess estrogenic activity; therefore, they may mimic the effects of E2 on PG synthesis and influence the reproductive system. Using a cell-culture system of bovine epithelial and stromal cells, we determined cell-specific effects of phytoestrogens (i.e., daidzein, genistein), their metabolites (i.e., equol and para-ethyl-phenol, respectively), and E2 on PGF and PGE2 synthesis and examined the intracellular mechanisms of their actions. Both PGs produced by stromal and epithelial cells were significantly stimulated by phytoestrogens and their metabolites. However, PGF synthesis by both kinds of cells was greater stimulated than PGE2 synthesis. Moreover, epithelial cells treated with phytoestrogens synthesized more PGF than stromal cells, increasing the PGF to PGE2 ratio. The epithelial and stromal cells were preincubated with an estrogen-receptor (ER) antagonist (i.e., ICI), a translation inhibitor (i.e., actinomycin D), a protein kinase A inhibitor (i.e., staurosporin), and a phospholipase C inhibitor (i.e., U73122) for 0.5 hrs and then stimulated with equol, para-ethyl-phenol, or E2. Although the action of E2 on PGF synthesis was blocked by all reagents, the stimulatory effect of phytoestrogens was blocked only by ICI and actinomycin D in both cell types. Moreover, in contrast to E2 action, phytoestrogens did not cause intracellular calcium mobilization in either epithelial or stromal cells. Phytoestrogens stimulate both PGF and PGE2 in both cell types of bovine endometrium via an ER-dependent genomic pathway. However, because phytoestrogens preferentially stimulated PGF synthesis in epithelial cells of bovine endometrium, they may disrupt uterus function by altering the PGF to PGE2 ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • Cattle
  • Endometrium
  • PGE
  • PGF
  • Phytoestrogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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