Prostaglandin E2 regulation of amnion cell vascular endothelial growth factor expression: Relationship with intramembranous absorption rate in fetal sheep

Cecilia Y. Cheung, Michael K. Beardall, Debra F. Anderson, Robert A. Brace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) stimulates amniotic fluid transport across the amnion by upregulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in amnion cells and that amniotic PGE2 concentration correlates positively with intramembranous (IM) absorption rate in fetal sheep. The effects of PGE2 at a range of concentrations on VEGF164 and caveolin-1 gene expressions were analyzed in cultured ovine amnion cells. IM absorption rate, amniotic fluid (AF) volume, and PGE2 concentration in AF were determined in late-gestation fetal sheep during control conditions, isovolumic fetal urine replacement (low IM absorption rate), or intra-amniotic fluid infusion (high IM absorption rate). In ovine amnion cells, PGE2 induced dose- and time-dependent increases in VEGF164 mRNA levels and reduced caveolin-1 mRNA and protein levels. VEGF receptor blockade abolished the caveolin-1 response, while minimally affecting the VEGF response to PGE2. In sheep fetuses, urine replacement reduced amniotic PGE2 concentration by 58%, decreased IM absorption rate by half, and doubled AF volume (P < 0.01). Intra-amniotic fluid infusion increased IM absorption rate and AF volume (P < 0.01), while amniotic PGE2 concentration was unchanged. Neither IM absorption rate nor AF volume correlated with amniotic PGE2 concentration under each experimental condition. Although PGE2 at micromolar concentrations induced dose-dependent responses in VEGF and caveolin-1 gene expression in cultured amnion cells consistent with a role of PGE2 in activating VEGF to mediate AF transport across the amnion, amniotic PGE2 at physiological nanomolar concentrations does not appear to regulate IM absorption rate or AF volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R354-R360
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014



  • Amniotic fluid volume
  • Fetal urine
  • Intramembranous absorption
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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