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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1516; doi:10.3390/ijms18071516

Understanding the Inguinal Sinus in Sheep (Ovis aries)—Morphology, Secretion, and Expression of Progesterone, Estrogens, and Prolactin Receptors

1
CIISA-Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV), Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
2
CEDOC-Chronic Diseases Research Center, Immunology, NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Rua Câmara Pestana n° 6, 6-A Edifício CEDOC II, 1150-082 Lisboa, Portugal
3
CIISA-Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV), Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
4
iMed.ULisboa, Pharmacological and Regulatory Sciences Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
5
Centro de Sangue e Transplantação de Lisboa, IPST,IP Alameda das Linhas de Torres 117, 1749-005 Lisbon, Portugal
6
Microscopy Center, Faculty of Sciences, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
7
CIISA-Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV), Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action)
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Abstract

Post-parturient behavior of mammalian females is essential for early parent–offspring contact. After delivery, lambs need to ingest colostrum for obtaining the related immunological protection, and early interactions between the mother and the lamb are crucial. Despite visual and auditory cues, olfactory cues are decisive in lamb orientation to the mammary gland. In sheep, the inguinal sinus is located bilaterally near the mammary gland as a skin pouch (IGS) that presents a gland that secretes a strong-smelling wax. Sheep IGS gland functions have many aspects under evaluation. The objective of the present study was to evaluate sheep IGS gland functional aspects and mRNA transcription and the protein expression of several hormone receptors, such as progesterone receptor (PGR), estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), and 2 (ESR2) and prolactin receptor (PRLR) present. In addition, another aim was to achieve information about IGS ultrastructure and chemical compounds produced in this gland. All hormone receptors evaluated show expression in IGS during the estrous cycle (follicular/luteal phases), pregnancy, and the post-partum period. IGS secretion is rich in triterpenoids that totally differ from the surrounding skin. They might be essential substances for the development of an olfactory preference of newborns to their mothers. View Full-Text
Keywords: inguinal sinus; morphology; transcription; ESR1; ESR2; PGR; PRLR; chemical compounds; triterpenoids inguinal sinus; morphology; transcription; ESR1; ESR2; PGR; PRLR; chemical compounds; triterpenoids
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Alexandre-Pires, G.; Martins, C.; Galvão, A.M.; Miranda, M.; Silva, O.; Ligeiro, D.; Nunes, T.; Ferreira-Dias, G. Understanding the Inguinal Sinus in Sheep (Ovis aries)—Morphology, Secretion, and Expression of Progesterone, Estrogens, and Prolactin Receptors. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1516.

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