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Cell Reprogram. 2011 Oct;13(5):403-10. doi: 10.1089/cell.2011.0006. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Reduced amino acids in the bovine uterine lumen of cloned versus in vitro fertilized pregnancies prior to implantation.

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Physiology Weihenstephan, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Freising, Germany.


Fetal overgrowth and placental abnormalities frequently occur in pregnancies following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). An optimal intrauterine supply of amino acids (AA) is of specific importance for the development of the bovine preimplantation embryo, and a defective regulation of AA supply might contribute to pregnancy failures. Thus, we analyzed 41 AA and derivatives by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in uterine flushings of day 18 pregnant heifers carrying in vitro fertilized (IVF) or SCNT embryos, which were cultured under identical conditions until transfer to recipients. The concentrations of several AA were reduced in samples from SCNT pregnancies: L-leucine (1.8-fold), L-valine (1.6-fold), L-isoleucine (1.9-fold), L-phenylalanine (1.5-fold), L-glutamic acid (3.9-fold), L-aspartic acid (4.0-fold), L-proline (2.6-fold), L-alanine (2.0-fold), L-arginine (2.5-fold), and L-lysine (1.9-fold). The endometrial transcript abundance for the AA transporter solute carrier family 7 (amino acid transporter, L-type), member 8 (SLC7A8) was also 2.4-fold lower in SCNT pregnancies. O-phosphoethanolamine (PetN) was 11-fold (p=0.0001) reduced in the uterine fluid of animals carrying an SCNT conceptus, pointing toward changes of the phospholipid metabolism. We provide evidence for disturbed embryo-maternal interactions in the preimplantation period after transfer of SCNT embryos, which may contribute to developmental abnormalities. These are unlikely related to the major embryonic pregnancy recognition signal interferon-tau, because similar activities were detected in uterine flushings of the SCNT and IVF groups.

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