Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Gene expression and lymphocyte population at the fetal-maternal interface in sheep pregnancies established by somatic cell nuclear transfer

Jason A. Koroghli A B , Elizabeth Floyd A , Misha Regouski A , Kerry Rood A B , Kirsten Gash A , Kip Panter C , Rusty Stott A B , Christopher J. Davies A B , Irina A. Polejaeva A and Heloisa M. Rutigliano A B D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, Utah State University, 4815 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.

B School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, 4815 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.

C USDA ARS Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84341, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: heloisa.rutigliano@usu.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17224
Submitted: 4 October 2016  Accepted: 19 November 2017   Published online: 15 January 2018

Abstract

The hypothesis of this study was that the leukocyte populations and expression levels of genes related to immune response, growth factors and apoptosis would be altered at the fetal-maternal interface in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)-generated sheep pregnancies. Placental and endometrial samples from sheep pregnancies established by SCNT and natural breeding (control) were collected at 45 days and at term. Expression of genes related to growth factors, apoptosis and immune response was examined using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Endometrial leukocyte populations and major histocompatibility class I (MHC-I) protein expression were examined by immunohistochemistry. At term we observed altered expression of genes related to apoptosis, growth factors and immune response in placental and endometrial tissue of SCNT pregnancies. In Day-45 pregnancies there was less-pronounced abnormal expression and only genes related to apoptosis and growth factors were abnormal in the placenta. Endometrial gene expression profiles were similar to age-matched controls. Placental MHC-I protein expression was similar in SCNT and controls at 45 days but increased in the SCNT at term. The altered gene expression at the fetal-maternal interface likely contributes to the placental dysfunction and overgrowth observed in sheep SCNT pregnancies.

Additional keywords: assisted reproductive technologies, cloning, large offspring syndrome, livestock species, pregnancy loss.


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