Multiple Female Reproductive Failures in Cyclooxygenase 2–Deficient Mice

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 01/1997; 91(2):197-208. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80402-X

ABSTRACT Cyclooxygenase (COX) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of prostaglandins (PGs) and exists in two isoforms, COX-1 and COX-2. In spite of long-standing speculation, definitive roles of PGs in various events of early pregnancy remain elusive. We demonstrate herein that the targeted disruption of COX-2, but not COX-1, in mice produces multiple failures in female reproductive processes that include ovulation, fertilization, implantation, and decidualization. Using multiple approaches, we conclude that these defects are the direct result of target organ–specific COX-2 deficiency but are not the result of deficiency of pituitary gonadotropins or ovarian steroid hormones, or reduced responsiveness of the target organs to their respective hormones.

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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormone disorders and thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPO-Ab) in women are associated with subfertility and early pregnancy loss. Here, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on the pathophysiology of these associations. A review of the literature in the English language was carried out. Relevant studies were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register from 1975 until March 2014. From a total of 6108 primary selected articles from the literature search, 105 articles were selected for critical appraisal. Observational data indicate that altered thyroid hormone levels are associated with disturbed folliculogenesis, spermatogenesis, lower fertilization rates and lower embryo quality. Triiodothyronine (T3) in combination with FSH enhances granulosa cell proliferation and inhibits granulosa cell apoptosis by the PI3K/Akt pathway. T3 is considered a biological amplifier of the stimulatory action of gonadotrophins on granulosa cell function. T3 increases the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), MMP-2, MMP-3, fetal fibronectin and integrin α5β1T3 in early placental extravillous trophoblasts. Thyroid hormone transporters and receptors are expressed in the ovary, early embryo, endometrium, uterus and placenta. No other data explaining the associations could be retrieved from the literature. The presence of TPO-Ab is negatively associated with spermatogenesis, fertilization and embryo quality, but no data are available on the potential pathophysiological mechanisms. Thyroid hormone disorders and TPO-Ab are associated with disturbed folliculogenesis, spermatogenesis, fertilization and embryogenesis. The pathophysiology of these associations remains largely unknown, as evidence is limited and includes studies using small sample sizes, and often restricted to animal models. There are no studies on the pathophysiology underlying the association between TPO-Ab and reproduction. The available evidence, although limited, supports a role of thyroid hormone in fertility and early pregnancy. This justifies clinical intervention studies on the effects of thyroid hormone supplementation in women with subclinical hypothyroidism and in women prone to develop hypothyroidism due to the presence of TPO-Ab. In addition, more research is needed to identify the underlying mechanisms. This would be of particular interest in women undergoing IVF to pinpoint the effects of thyroid hormone on different parameters of reproduction. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

Hyunjung Jade Lim