Establishment of pregnancy in the pig is accompanied by a localized uterine acute inflammatory response and increase in uterine blood flow. Following rapid trophoblast elongation on Day 12 of pregnancy there is an increase in tissue kallikrein activity and release of bradykinin into the uterine lumen, suggesting the kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system is active in the porcine uterus. The present study investigated endometrial expression and presence of the various factors of the kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system. Endometrial L- and H-kininogen gene expression as well as presence of kininogens in the uterine flushings was evaluated throughout the estrous cycle and early pregnancy in the pig. The possible involvement of plasma kallikrein and Factor XII, activators of the kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system, were evaluated through analysis of gene expression in endometrial and conceptus tissues. Gene expression for plasma kallikrein, Factor XII, and H-kininogen were detected in endometrium but not early conceptus tissues. Factor XII and H-kininogen gene expression were similar across the days of the estrous cycle and early pregnancy. Endometrial plasma kallikrein gene expression was low but increased on Day 15 of the estrous cycle, whereas expression was similar across the days of early pregnancy. In comparison to cyclic gilts, endometrial L-kininogen gene expression increased fourfold on Days 15 and 18 of pregnancy. Both L- and H-kininogen were detected in the uterine flushings of cyclic and pregnant gilts. Presence of L- and H-kininogen in the porcine uterus and endometrial gene expression of plasma kallikrein and Factor XII provide evidence that the kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system is biologically active during establishment of pregnancy in the pig.
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