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Uterine expression of smooth muscle alpha- and gamma-actin and smooth muscle myosin in bitches diagnosed with uterine inertia and obstructive dystocia


Egloff, S; Reichler, Iris M; Kowalewski, Mariusz P; Keller, S; Goericke-Pesch, S; Balogh, Orsolya (2020). Uterine expression of smooth muscle alpha- and gamma-actin and smooth muscle myosin in bitches diagnosed with uterine inertia and obstructive dystocia. Theriogenology, 156:162-170.

Abstract

Primary uterine inertia (PUI) is the most common type of dystocia in dogs. We hypothesized that PUI develops because of lower than normal expression of the basic contractile elements in the uterus, i.e., smooth muscle (SM) α- and γ-actin and SM-myosin, and that the expression of these proteins is influenced by the number of fetuses present in utero. Full-thickness inter-placental uterine biopsies were collected during Cesarean sections from dogs with PUI (n = 11), and from bitches with obstructive dystocia (OD) still presenting strong labor contractions (designated as the control group, n = 7). Relative gene expression was determined by semi-quantitative real-time (TaqMan) PCR, and protein localization by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression between PUI and OD bitches, and between PUI bitches carrying small, large, or average number of fetuses according to their breed, were compared. Uterine SM-γ-actin and SM-myosin mRNA levels were significantly higher in PUI than in OD dogs, while SM-α-actin did not differ. PUI bitches carrying large litters had lower uterine SM-γ-actin gene expression than those with small litters (P = 0.008). Immunostaining for SM-actin isoforms and SM-myosin was present in the myometrium, and localization pattern and staining intensity appeared similar in the PUI and OD groups. All proteins stained in blood vessels, and SM-γ-actin was also present in endometrial luminal and glandular epithelium. In conclusion, higher uterine SM-γ-actin and SM-myosin gene expression in PUI bitches, compared with OD dogs, might be an indication of abnormal progression with labor. Whether this is the cause of PUI due to an intrinsic error of the myometrium not becoming committed to labor, or the consequence of inadequate endocrine or mechanical stimuli, is not clear. Litter size was previously shown to be one of the risk factors for the development of uterine inertia in dogs, and our findings suggest possible differing uterine pathophysiology of PUI with respect to litter size.

Abstract

Primary uterine inertia (PUI) is the most common type of dystocia in dogs. We hypothesized that PUI develops because of lower than normal expression of the basic contractile elements in the uterus, i.e., smooth muscle (SM) α- and γ-actin and SM-myosin, and that the expression of these proteins is influenced by the number of fetuses present in utero. Full-thickness inter-placental uterine biopsies were collected during Cesarean sections from dogs with PUI (n = 11), and from bitches with obstructive dystocia (OD) still presenting strong labor contractions (designated as the control group, n = 7). Relative gene expression was determined by semi-quantitative real-time (TaqMan) PCR, and protein localization by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression between PUI and OD bitches, and between PUI bitches carrying small, large, or average number of fetuses according to their breed, were compared. Uterine SM-γ-actin and SM-myosin mRNA levels were significantly higher in PUI than in OD dogs, while SM-α-actin did not differ. PUI bitches carrying large litters had lower uterine SM-γ-actin gene expression than those with small litters (P = 0.008). Immunostaining for SM-actin isoforms and SM-myosin was present in the myometrium, and localization pattern and staining intensity appeared similar in the PUI and OD groups. All proteins stained in blood vessels, and SM-γ-actin was also present in endometrial luminal and glandular epithelium. In conclusion, higher uterine SM-γ-actin and SM-myosin gene expression in PUI bitches, compared with OD dogs, might be an indication of abnormal progression with labor. Whether this is the cause of PUI due to an intrinsic error of the myometrium not becoming committed to labor, or the consequence of inadequate endocrine or mechanical stimuli, is not clear. Litter size was previously shown to be one of the risk factors for the development of uterine inertia in dogs, and our findings suggest possible differing uterine pathophysiology of PUI with respect to litter size.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Anatomy
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Small Animals
Health Sciences > Food Animals
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Health Sciences > Equine
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food Animals, Animal Science and Zoology, Equine, Small Animals
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:11 Jan 2021 17:40
Last Modified:12 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0093-691X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.06.033

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