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J Immunol. 2006 Jan 1;176(1):148-56.

Differential gene expression in endometrium, endometrial lymphocytes, and trophoblasts during successful and abortive embryo implantation.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Prenatal mortality reaching 30% occurs during the first weeks of gestation in commercial swine. Mechanisms for this are unknown although poor uterine blood supply has been postulated. In other species, vascular endothelial growth factor, hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha, and IFN-gamma regulate gestational endometrial angiogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha are also important for placental angiogenesis while trophoblastic expression of Fas ligand is thought to protect conceptuses against immune-mediated pregnancy loss. In this study, we document dynamic, peri-implantation differences in transcription of genes for angiogenesis, cytokine production, and apoptosis regulation in the endometrium, and laser capture microdissected endometrial lymphocytes and trophoblasts associated with healthy or viable but arresting porcine fetuses. In healthy implantation sites, endometrial gene expression levels differed between anatomic subregions and endometrial lymphocytes showed much greater transcription of angiogenic genes than trophoblasts. In arresting fetal sites, uterine lymphocytes had no angiogenic gene transcription and showed rapid elevation in transcription of proinflammatory cytokines Fas and Fas ligand while trophoblasts showed elevated transcription of IFN-gamma and Fas. This model of experimentally accessible spontaneous fetal loss, involving blocked maternal angiogenesis, should prove valuable for further investigations of peri-implantation failure of normally conceived and surgically transferred embryos in many species, including the human.

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