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Ryan Ashley's Laboratory, NMSU



Our laboratory has two focus areas: progesterone’s actions mediated by membrane receptors, and chemokines’ effects in early pregnancy and breast cancer. One goal of our laboratory is to elucidate the functions of membrane progesterone receptors (MPRs) in normal and compromised pregnancies, as well as their roles in reproductive cancers. These receptors are unique as they are structurally distinct from the classic nuclear progesterone receptors and have different physiological functions. As such, MPRs add to the intricate mechanisms by which progesterone elicits biological actions in normal and disease states. Elucidating the functions and downstream signaling of these receptors in reproduction will greatly aid in clarifying their role in cancer biology as well.

The other focus area of our laboratory is the role that the chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) and its ligand, CXCL12, play during early pregnancy, particularly implantation of trophoblast cells into maternal endometrium and subsequent development of the placenta. CXCL12/CXCR4 activation is associated with immune functions, cell survival and proliferation and vascularization. Abnormal placental growth and vascular development early in pregnancy leads to poor fetal growth and survival and can result in compromised health in the offspring later in life. Additionally, CXCL12 and CXCR4 are implicated in a number of reproductive cancers, with established roles in breast cancer metastasis and are hormonally regulated.

Dr. Ashley joined the faculty of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences in 2010 and is part of the interdisciplinary Molecular Biology Program at NMSU. He completed his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Sciences at NMSU. Dr. Ashley is a participant in RISE, MARC, and HHMI programs at NMSU. Dr. Ashley received his Ph.D. at Colorado State University in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Reproductive Physiology and completed a postdoc at Colorado State University as well. He is from a ranch in eastern New Mexico and understands the agricultural industry in New Mexico and the importance of applied reproductive physiology to producers.

Our capabilities include:

•Mammalian cell culture
•Real-time PCR
•Western (immuno) blotting
•Immunohisto/immunocytochemical staining
•Flow cytometry

Publications (updated 08/2013)

Antoniazzi, A.Q., B.T. Webb, J.J. Romero, R.L. Ashley, N.P. Smirnova, L.E. Henkes, R.C. Bott, J.F. Oliveira, G.D. Niswender, F.W. Bazer, and T.R. Hansen. 2013. Endocrine delivery of interferon-tau protects the corpus luteum from prostaglandin F2 alpha-induced luteolysis in ewes. Biology of Reproduction.

Ashley, R.L., A.Q. Antoniazzi, R.V. Anthony, and T.R. Hansen. 2011. The chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 are activated during implantation and placentation in sheep. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. Nov 3; 9:148.

Hansen, T.R., L.E. Henkes, R.L. Ashley, R.C. Bott, A.Q. Antoniazzi, and H. Han. 2010. Endocrine actions of interferon-tau in ruminants. Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants. Vol 7. J Reprod Fertil: 1-22.

Ashley, R.L., L.E. Henkes, G.J. Bouma, J.K. Pru, and T.R. Hansen. 2010. Deletion of the Isg15 gene results in up-regulation of decidual cell survival genes and down-regulation of adhesion genes: Implication for regulation by interleukin-1 beta. Endocrinology. Sep, 151(9): 4527-36.

Arreguin-Arevalo J.A., Ashley R.L., Wagenmaker E.R., Oakley A.E., Karsch F.J., Nett T.M. 2010. Membrane-initiated actions of estradiol (E2) in the regulation of LH secretion in ovariectomized (OVX) ewes. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 8(1):40 (10 May 2010). 

Bott, R.C., R.L. Ashley, L.E. Henkes, A.Q. Antoniazzi, J.E. Bruemmer, G.D. Niswender, F.W. Bazer, T.E. Spencer, N.P. Smirnova, R.V. Anthony, and T.R. Hansen. 2010. Uterine vein infusion of interferon tau (IFNT) extends luteal lifespan in ewes. Biology of Reproduction. Apr;82(4):725-35.

Ashley, R.L., J.A. Arreguin-Arevalo, and T.M. Nett. 2009.  Binding characteristics of the ovine membrane progesterone receptor alpha and expression of the receptor during the estrous cycle. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 7:42 (11 May 2009). 

Oliveira, J.F., L.E. Henkes, R.L. Ashley, S.H. Purcell, N.P. Smirnova, R.V. Anthony, T.R. Hansen.  2008.  Expression of ISGs in extrauterine tissues during early pregnancy in sheep is the consequence of endocrine IFN-tau release from the uterine vein.  Endocrinology.  Mar, 149(3):1252-9.

Ashley, R.L., C. M. Clay, T.A. Farmerie, G.D. Niswender, and T.M. Nett. 2006. Cloning and characterization of an ovine intracellular seven transmembrane receptor for progesterone that mediates calcium mobilization. Endocrinology. 147(9):4151-9.

Ashley, A.K., R.L. Ashley, M.A.Siepel, and J.R. Strickland. 2006. Toxicokinetic profile of swainsonine following acute and subacute exposure in sheep. New Zealand Journal of Veterinary Medicine. 54(1):34-40.



Dr. Ashley serves as a primary or co-instructor in the listed courses and guest lectures in others:


Email Dr. Ashley for more information!