Total glucose in ovine uterine lumenal fluid increases 6-fold between Days 10 and 15 of gestation, but not the estrous cycle; however, mechanisms for glucose transport into the uterine lumen and uptake by conceptuses (embryo/fetus and associated membranes) are not established. This study determined the effects of the estrous cycle, pregnancy, progesterone (P4), and interferon tau (IFNT) on expression of both facilitative (SLC2A1, SLC2A3, and SLC2A4) and sodium-dependent (SLC5A1 and SLC5A11) glucose transporters in ovine uterine endometria from Days 10 to 16 of the estrous cycle and Days 10 to 20 of pregnancy, as well as in conceptuses from Days 10 to 20 of pregnancy. The SLC2A1 and SLC5A1 mRNAs and proteins were most abundant in uterine luminal epithelia and superficial glandular epithelia (LE/sGE), whereas SLC2A4 was present in stromal cells and glandular epithelia (GE). SLC5A11 mRNA was most abundant in endometrial GE, whereas SLC2A3 mRNA was not detectable in endometria. SLC2A1, SLC2A3, SLC2A4, SLC5A1, and SLC5A11 were expressed in the trophectoderm and endoderm of conceptuses. Steady-state levels of SLC2A1, SLC5A1, and SLC5A11 mRNAs, but not SLC2A4 mRNA, were greater in endometria from pregnant than from cyclic ewes. Progesterone increased SLC2A1, SLC5A11, and SLC2A4 mRNAs in the LE/sGE and SLC5A1 in the GE of ovariectomized ewes. Expression of SLC5A1 was inhibited by ZK136,317 (progesterone receptor antagonist), and the combination of ZK136,317 and IFNT further decreased expression in GE. In constrast, P4 induced and IFNT stimulated expression of SLC2A1 and SLC5A11, and these effects were blocked by ZK136,317. Results of this study indicate differential expression of facilitative and sodium-dependent glucose transporters in ovine uteri and conceptuses for transport and uptake of glucose, and that P4 or P4 and IFNT regulate their expression during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy.
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Vol. 80 • No. 1