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23 June 2017 Uterine responses to early pre-attachment embryos in the domestic dog and comparisons with other domestic animal species
Felix R. Graubner, Aykut Gram, Ewa Kautz, Stefan Bauersachs, Selim Aslan, Ali R. Agaoglu, Alois Boos, Mariusz P. Kowalewski
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Abstract

In the dog, there is no luteolysis in the absence of pregnancy. Thus, this species lacks any antiluteolytic endocrine signal as found in other species that modulate uterine function during the critical period of pregnancy establishment. Nevertheless, in the dog an embryo-maternal communication must occur in order to prevent rejection of embryos. Based on this hypothesis, we performed microarray analysis of canine uterine samples collected during pre-attachment phase (days 10-12) and in corresponding non-pregnant controls, in order to elucidate the embryo attachment signal. An additional goal was to identify differences in uterine responses to pre-attachment embryos between dogs and other mammalian species exhibiting different reproductive patterns with regard to luteolysis, implantation, and preparation for placentation. Therefore, the canine microarray data were compared with gene sets from pigs, cattle, horses, and humans. We found 412 genes differentially regulated between the two experimental groups. The functional terms most strongly enriched in response to pre-attachment embryos related to extracellular matrix function and remodeling, and to immune and inflammatory responses. Several candidate genes were validated by semi-quantitative PCR. When compared with other species, best matches were found with human and equine counterparts. Especially for the pig, the majority of overlapping genes showed opposite expression patterns. Interestingly, 1926 genes did not pair with any of the other gene sets. Using a microarray approach, we report the uterine changes in the dog driven by the presence of embryos and compare these results with datasets from other mammalian species, finding common-, contrary-, and exclusively canine-regulated genes.

Summary Sentence

Pre-implantation embryos invoke functional changes in the canine uterus related to ongoing structural remodeling and immunological modulation; comparisons with different mammals reveal similarities and differences in maternal pregnancy recognition.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Felix R. Graubner, Aykut Gram, Ewa Kautz, Stefan Bauersachs, Selim Aslan, Ali R. Agaoglu, Alois Boos, and Mariusz P. Kowalewski "Uterine responses to early pre-attachment embryos in the domestic dog and comparisons with other domestic animal species," Biology of Reproduction 97(2), 197-216, (23 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox063
Received: 11 April 2017; Accepted: 21 June 2017; Published: 23 June 2017
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KEYWORDS
dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
early pregnancy
embryo-maternal communication
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