BACKGROUND: Along with trophoblast elongation (Days 10 to 12), estradiol is secreted in increasing amounts for recognition of pregnancy. Endometrial secretions driven by ovarian progesterone and conceptus signals are essential for conceptus growth and development. Results of transcriptome analyses of whole endometrial tissue samples in the pig indicated the need for cell type-specific endometrial gene expression analysis for a better understanding of transcriptome changes associated with establishment of pregnancy.
RESULTS: The most distinct transcriptome profile and the majority of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in luminal epithelium (LE). Many DEGs were found only in the cell type-specific analysis. The functional classification of DEGs identified in specific endometrial cell types revealed various distinct functions and pathways. Genes related to immune activation, estrogen signalling pathway, embryo development, and cell proliferation were upregulated in LE of pregnant gilts. Genes involved in sterol biosynthetic and metabolic processes and extracellular matrix were upregulated in stroma. Genes associated with cell communication such as via exosomes and vesicles were found as differential in LE, glandular epithelium (GE), and stroma (S).
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed that conceptus signals induce different transcriptomic regulations in the endometrial compartments/cell types related to their specific function during recognition and establishment of pregnancy.