Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a simple phospholipid, plays a critical role in the establishment of pregnancy in pigs. LPA production is mediated by the action of ENPP2, a secreted lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) that converts lysophosphatidylcholine to LPA. However, the mechanism that regulates LPA production by ENPP2 in the porcine uterus is not well understood. In this study, we evaluated ENPP2 expression during the estrous cycle and pregnancy in the uterine endometrium and in early stage conceptuses. We also evaluated lysoPLD activity in the uterine lumen. ENPP2 transcripts and proteins were detected in the uterine endometrium at all stages of the estrous cycle and pregnancy, with higher levels on Day (D) 12 and D15 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy. ENPP2 expression was localized mainly in luminal and glandular epithelial cells in the endometrium and was also detected in conceptuses on D12 of pregnancy. Secreted ENPP2 protein was detected in fluid flushing samples from the uterine lumen on D12 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy, with higher levels on D12 of pregnancy. LysoPLD activity was detected in uterine flushings on D12 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy, with higher levels on D12 of pregnancy. This study showed that uterine endometrium and conceptuses produce ENPP2 and secreted it into the uterine lumen where it has lysoPLD activity. These results suggest that ENPP2 may play an important role in the establishment of pregnancy in pigs by regulating LPA production at the maternal–conceptus interface.
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Vol. 87 • No. 4