2016 年 78 巻 12 号 p. 1771-1777
Though Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system-dependent apoptosis is considered to be the primary form of cell death in regressing corpus luteum (CL), the cellular identity and regulation of expression of the ligand and receptor molecules are not fully understood. Here, we focused on immunohistochemical determination of Fas expression during natural regression with comparison of three different types of rat CLs. Detected Fas was in good spatial association with cleaved caspase-3 and FasL proteins and with macrophages and neutrophils. In CLs of the cycle and pseudopregnancy, Fas-positive cell types included large and small luteal (steroidogenic) cells and capillary endothelial cells mainly, and blood-derived immune cells occasionally. Fas signals were abundant at multiple focal inflammatory-like sites. In contrast, Fas signals in CL of pregnancy did not localize in steroidogenic cells, but almost exclusively in endothelial cells and granulocytes. The signals scattered evenly throughout the CL tissue as phagocytes also did. In all CLs types, the numbers of Fas-expressing cells increased transiently after functional inactivation and at the early phase of structural regression. This observation revealed spatio-temporally regulated expression of Fas that was highly associated with apoptotic and phagocytotic systems and type-dependent differences in Fas expression and phagocytes dynamics in naturally regressing CL of rats.