During the period of attachment of the trophectoderm to the uterine lumenal surface in the pig, there is an increase in uterine blood flow and a localized hyperemic response induced by the developing conceptuses. The presence of tissue kallikrein in the porcine uterine lumen suggests that the kallikrein-kinin system may be functional during pregnancy in the pig. The objective of the present study was to determine the concentration of bradykinin within the uterine lumen during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy as well as endometrial gene expression and cellular localization of the bradykinin β2 receptor. Concentration of bradykinin in uterine flushings was greatest during estrus (Day 0) and Days 12–18 of the estrous cycle. However, there was a 5- to 10-fold increase in bradykinin content in pregnant uterine flushings on Days 12–18 of pregnancy compared with the estrous cycle. Endometrial bradykinin β2 receptor gene expression was greatest on Days 0, 12, 15, and 18 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy as gene expression decreased almost 6-fold on Days 5 and 10. Bradykinin β2 receptors were detected in the endometrial surface and glandular epithelium with greatest intensity of staining observed on Days 0, 12, 15, and 18 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy. Results from the present study suggest that the kallikrein-kinin system plays a role in the establishment of pregnancy in the pig.
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