Biochemical aspects of conceptus--endometrial interactions.

J Exp Zool 1983 Nov;228(2):373-83

Mammalian conceptuses must provide a chemical signal to the maternal system to insure maintenance of corpus luteum (CL) function and of progesterone production and continuation of uterine endometrial secretory activity. These events insure that the developing conceptus is provided with appropriate nutrients, regulatory enzymes and endocrine state to allow successful establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Pig blastocysts begin to produce estrogens by Day 11 of pregnancy, which prevents secretion of the uterine luteolytic factor (PGF2 alpha) in an endocrine direction, but allows secretion in an exocrine direction, i.e., into the uterine lumen. Therefore, CL are "protected." Blastocyst estrogens also trigger secretion of a group of proteins, including uteroferrin, an iron transport protein, and a family of protease inhibitors whose biosynthesis within the uterine glandular epithelium is under the control of progesterone. Estrogen also appears to promote accumulation of glucose and fructose within the uterine lumen. A complex in vivo "culture medium" is thereby established to promote conceptus development. Pig blastocysts do not undergo invasive implantation within the uterine lumen although they produce the protease, plasminogen activator. Invasion may be prevented by endometrial secretion of progesterone-induced protease inhibitors which are produced in large amounts. In addition to estrogens of conceptus origin, calcium and prostaglandins PGF2 alpha and E2 may affect the uterine vasculature, water and electrolyte transport, capillary permeability, conceptus steroid production, and related events during pregnancy. The blastocysts of the large domestic animals also secrete proteins which include a large glycoprotein (Mr approximately 600,000) and a small acidic protein (Mr approximately 17,000). The latter has been purified from sheep and named ovine trophoblast protein I. These proteins may play unique roles in early pregnancy with respect to establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in the ewe, sow, mare, and cow.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.1402280220DOI Listing
November 1983

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