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J Equine Sci. 2018;29(2):33-37. doi: 10.1294/jes.29.33. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Expression of activin receptors in the equine uteroplacental tissue: an immunohistochemical analysis.

Kimura Y1,2, Sasaki M1,2, Watanabe K1,3, Dhakal P2,4,5, Sato F2,6, Taya K4, Nambo Y1,2,3.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu 501-1193, Japan.
Research Center for Global Agromedicine, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
Department of Veterinary Medicine, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan.
Present address: Animal Science Research Center, Division of Animal Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.
Equine Science Division, Hidaka Training and Research Center, Japan Racing Association, Hokkaido 057-0171, Japan.


Activin is secreted from equine uterine glands and plays important roles in establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in mares. This study aimed to localize activin receptors (ActRs) IA/B and IIA/B using immunohistochemistry in the uteroplacental tissues of seven pregnant Thoroughbred mares. At the time of tissue collection, the mares were at the following days of pregnancy: 88, 120, 161, 269, 290, 313, and 335 days. We fixed the uteroplacental tissues in 4% paraformaldehyde and obtained serial sections that were subsequently stained for analysis. All four isoforms of ActR were expressed in the uteroplacental tissues, including the endometrial epithelium, uterine glands, trophoblasts, and myometrium, throughout pregnancy. Our results suggested the potential role of activin in the uteroplacental tissues.


activin; activin receptor; pregnant mare; uteroplacental tissues

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