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Reprod Domest Anim. 2008 Jul;43 Suppl 2:232-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01167.x.

Proteins associated with the early intrauterine equine conceptus.

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Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.


A critical period of early gestation in the mare involves the immobilization (fixation) of the encapsulated conceptus at around days 16-17. We compared the major proteins in the normal equine embryonic capsule and endometrial secretions around the period of fixation with those from pregnancies in the process of termination induced by administration of an analogue of prostaglandin F(2 alpha) (PGF(2 alpha)). Uterocalin and beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)M) associated with the embryonic capsule were proteolytically converted to smaller forms during the fixation period. These conversions were similar in conceptuses from control and treated mares. A 17 kDa cationic protein identified as a secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) type IIA was detected bound to normal capsules but increased substantially in response to PGF(2 alpha). Two forms of uteroglobin were distinguished by partial amino acid sequences of approximately 6 kDa bands in flush fluids from normal pregnant uteri. After administration of PGF(2 alpha) one immunoreactive form of uteroglobin was preferentially increased. These studies demonstrate that failure of pregnancy in this model is associated with an increase in secretory phospholipase in the capsule and a change in the forms of uteroglobin in the uterine secretions.

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