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Genes involved in conceptus-endometrial interactions in ruminants: insights from reductionism and thoughts on holistic approaches

Abstract : This review summarizes new knowledge on expression of genes and provides insights into approaches for study of conceptus-endometrial interactions in ruminants with emphasis on the peri-implantation stage of pregnancy. Conceptus-endometrial interactions in ruminants are complex and involve carefully orchestrated temporal and spatial alterations in gene expression regulated by hormones from the ovary and conceptus. Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy and acts on the uterus to stimulate blastocyst survival, growth, and development. Inadequate progesterone levels or a delayed rise in progesterone is associated with pregnancy loss. The mononuclear trophectoderm cells of the elongating blastocyst synthesize and secrete interferon-tau (IFNT), the pregnancy recognition signal. Trophoblast giant binucleate cells begin to differentiate and produce hormones including chorionic somatomammotropin 1 (CSH1 or placental lactogen). A number of genes, induced or stimulated by progesterone, IFNT, and/or CSH1 in a cell-specific manner, are implicated in trophectoderm adhesion to the endometrial luminal epithelium and regulation of conceptus growth and differentiation. Transcriptional profiling experiments are beginning to unravel the complex dynamics of conceptus-endometrial interactions in cattle and sheep. Future experiments should incorporate physiological models of pregnancy loss and be complemented by metabolomic studies of uterine lumen contents to more completely define factors required for blastocyst survival, growth, and implantation. Both reduction and holistic approaches will be important to understand the multifactorial phenomenon of recurrent pregnancy loss and provide a basis for new strategies to improve pregnancy outcome and reproductive efficiency in cattle and other domestic animals.
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Thomas E. Spencer, Olivier Sandra, Eckhard Wolf. Genes involved in conceptus-endometrial interactions in ruminants: insights from reductionism and thoughts on holistic approaches. 2. International Meeting on Mammalian Embryogenomics, Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economiques. FRA., Oct 2007, Paris, France. ⟨10.1530/REP-07-0327⟩. ⟨hal-02758075⟩



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