During parturition, uterine-derived prostaglandins (PG) play an outstanding role regarding the functional elimination of the corpus luteum and the promotion of uterine contraction. The rate-limiting enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), highly regulated in a cell-type and localization specific manner throughout pregnancy, is involved in uterine prostanoid production. Prostaglandins exert their effects via G-protein-coupled receptors. Distribution and cellular localization of these receptors are decisive factors for prostaglandin-mediated actions. Since both COX-2 and PG receptors have only been assessed during pregnancy in the cow, these parameters were localized immunohistochemically near term to evaluate their specific role at parturition. Thus, during two periods, segments of the intercaruncular uterine wall were collected from cows at slaughter being eight and nine months pregnant, from cattle during caesarean section, and after spontaneous calving. Results reveal that COX-2 was mainly localized in the cytoplasm of surface epithelial cells with a high expression in animals with induced parturition. The enzyme could also be found in lower concentrations within the glandular epithelium without any effect of gestational time or labour. In contrast to relaxant prostaglandin E receptor type 2 (EP2), not showing any change in all tissue layers observed, contractile prostaglandin F(2alpha) receptor (FP) was modulated during the peripartal period revealing a peak expression in animals with induced parturition. FP was localized in surface and glandular epithelial cells as well as in endometrial stroma and myometrial smooth muscle cells. Our study indicates that labour and induction of parturition may have an effect on amounts of immunohistochemically detectable COX-2 and FP. EP2 remains rather unchanged during the peripartal period. COX-2 and FP thus contribute via changes in amount and distribution to mechanisms associated with parturition.