Our objective was to determine whether H-Type 1 carbohydrate antigen is expressed by ovine endometrial epithelial cells. Endometrium was obtained from sheep on days (D) 1, 5, 11, 13, and 15 of the estrous cycle or pregnancy and D17 and D19 of pregnancy. Immunofluorescence microscopy of frozen tissue sections revealed intense staining on the apical surface of glandular uterine epithelial (GE) cells from D11 to D17 of pregnancy. Light punctate staining of luminal uterine epithelial (LE) cells was present from D15 to D19 of pregnancy, with isolated areas of intense staining observed only on D15 of pregnancy. There were no noticeable differences in staining patterns on equivalent d of the estrous cycle. Immortalized sheep LE and GE cells were used to determine whether estradiol (E), progesterone (P), or E P, with or without interferon tau (IFNτ), regulates H-Type 1 antigen expression in vitro. Intermittent punctate surface staining was observed on both cell lines independent of steroid treatment. Treatment with P or IFNτ increased H-Type 1 antigen expression (P < 0.01) and resulted in large aggregates of punctate staining. Domain-specific biotinylation and Western blotting of cell lysates from LE and GE cells were used to identify proteins carrying the H-Type 1 antigen. For both cell types, major immunoreactive apical membrane proteins were detected at 31, 33, 42, 55, 60, and 70 kDa. Therefore, the H-type 1 antigen is expressed mainly on GE cells during pregnancy recognition in utero and up-regulated by P and IFNτ on LE and GE cells in vitro.
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Vol. 38 • No. 6