Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 June 2018
The mammalian oviduct plays a pivotal role in the success of early reproductive events. The urokinase plasminogen activator system (uPAS) is present in the bovine oviduct and is involved in extracellular matrix remodelling through plasmin generation. This system can be regulated by several members of the vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) and their receptors. In this study, the VEGF-D effect on the regulation of uPAS was evaluated. First, RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses were used to evidence the expression of VEGF-D and its receptors in oviductal epithelial cells (BOEC). VEGF-D, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 transcripts were found in ex vivo and in vitro BOEC, while only VEGFR2 mRNA was present after in vitro conditions. VEGF-D showed a regulatory effect on uPAS gene expression in a dose-dependent manner, inducing an increase in the expression of both uPA and its receptor (uPAR) at 24 h post-induction and decreases in the expression of its inhibitor (PAI-1). In addition, the regulation of cell migration induced by VEGF-D and uPA in BOEC monolayer cultures was analyzed. The wound areas of monolayer cultures incubated with VEGF-D 10 ng/ml or uPA 10 nM were modified and significant differences were found at 24 h for both stimulations. These results indicated that uPAS and VEGF-D systems can modify the arrangement of the bovine oviductal epithelium and contribute to the correct maintenance of the oviductal microenvironment.