The objective of this study was to document the expression and localization of angiopoietin (ANGPT) family members comprising of angiopoietin (ANGPT1 and ANGPT2), and their receptors (Tie1 and Tie2) in buffalo corpus luteum (CL) obtained from different stages of the oestrous cycle, and the modulatory role of ANGPT1 and ANGPT2 alone or in combinations on progesterone (P4 ) secretion and mRNA expression of phosphotidylinositide-3kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT), phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK), protein kinase B (AKT), Bcl2 associated death promoter (BAD), caspase 3 and von willebrand factor (vWF) in luteal cells obtained from midluteal phase (MLP) of oestrous cycle in buffalo. Real-time RT-PCR (qPCR), Western blot and immunohistochemistry were applied to investigate mRNA expression, protein expression and localization of examined factors whereas, the P4 secretion was assessed by RIA. The mRNA and protein expression of ANGPT1 and Tie2 was maximum (p < .05) in mid luteal phase (MLP) of oestrous cycle. The ANGPT2 mRNA and protein expression was maximum (p < .05) in early luteal phase, decreased in MLP and again increased in late luteal phase of oestrous cycle. ANGPT family members were localized in luteal cells and endothelial cells with a stage specific immunoreactivity. P4 secretion was highest (p < .05) with 100 ng/ml at 72 hr when luteal cells were treated with either protein alone. The mRNA expression of PDK, AKT and vWF was highest (p < .05) and BAD along with caspase 3 were lowest (p < .05) at 100 ng/ml at 72 hr of incubation period, when cultured luteal cells were treated with either protein alone or in combination. To conclude, our study explores the steroidogenic potential of angiopoietins to promote P4 secretion, luteal cell survival and angiogenesis through an autocrine and paracrine actions in buffalo CL.
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