Transvaginal ultrasound-guided luteal biopsy was used to evaluate the effects of prostaglandin (PG)F2alpha on steady-state concentrations of mRNA for specific genes that may be involved in regression of the corpus luteum (CL). Eight days after ovulation (Hour 0), mares (n=8/group) were randomized into three groups: control (no treatment or biopsy), saline+biopsy (saline treatment at Hour 0 and luteal biopsy at Hour 12), or PGF2alpha+biopsy (5mg PGF2alpha at Hour 0 and luteal biopsy at Hour 12). The effects of biopsy on CL were compared between the controls (no biopsy) and saline+biopsy group. At Hour 24 (12h after biopsy) there was a decrease in circulating progesterone in saline group to 56% of pre-biopsy values, indicating an effect of biopsy on luteal function. Mean plasma progesterone concentrations were lower (P<0.001) at Hour 12 in the PG group compared to the other two groups. The relative concentrations of mRNA for different genes in luteal tissue at Hour 12 was quantified by real time PCR. Compared to saline-treated mares, treatment with PGF2alpha increased mRNA for cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2, 310%, P<0.006), but decreased mRNA for LH receptor to 44% (P<0.05), steroidogenic acute regulatory protein to 22% (P<0.001), and aromatase to 43% (P<0.1) of controls. There was no difference in mRNA levels for PGF2alpha receptor between PG and saline-treated groups. Results indicated that luteal biopsy alters subsequent luteal function. However, the biopsy approach was effective for collecting CL tissue for demonstrating dynamic changes in steady-state levels of mRNAs during PGF2alpha-induced luteolysis. Increased Cox-2 mRNA concentrations suggested that exogenous PGF2alpha induced the synthesis of intraluteal PGF2alpha. Thus, the findings are consistent with the concept that an intraluteal autocrine loop augments the luteolytic effect of uterine PGF2alpha in mares.