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Reproduction. 2013 Nov 16;147(1):21-31. doi: 10.1530/REP-13-0140. Print 2014 Jan.

Paf receptor expression in the marsupial embryo and endometrium during embryonic diapause.

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Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The control of reactivation from embryonic diapause in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) involves sequential activation of the corpus luteum, secretion of progesterone that stimulates endometrial secretion and subsequent changes in the uterine environment that activate the embryo. However, the precise signals between the endometrium and the blastocyst are currently unknown. In eutherians, both the phospholipid Paf and its receptor, platelet-activating factor receptor (PTAFR), are present in the embryo and the endometrium. In the tammar, endometrial Paf release in vitro increases around the time of the early progesterone pulse that occurs around the time of reactivation, but whether Paf can reactivate the blastocyst is unknown. We cloned and characterised the expression of PTAFR in the tammar embryo and endometrium at entry into embryonic diapause, during its maintenance and after reactivation. Tammar PTAFR sequence and protein were highly conserved with mammalian orthologues. In the endometrium, PTAFR was expressed at a constant level in the glandular epithelium across all stages and in the luminal epithelium during both diapause and reactivation. Thus, the presence of the receptor appears not to be a limiting factor for Paf actions in the endometrium. However, the low levels of PTAFR in the embryo during diapause, together with its up-regulation and subsequent internalisation at reactivation, supports earlier results suggesting that endometrial Paf could be involved in reactivation of the tammar blastocyst from embryonic diapause.

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