Expression of Immune Regulatory Genes in the Porcine Internal Genital Tract Is Differentially Triggered by Spermatozoa and Seminal Plasma
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-58185 Linköping, Sweden
Department of Surgery and Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Sylhet Agricultural University, 3100 Sylhet, Bangladesh
Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering; Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: University of Helsinki, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 04920 Saari, Finland.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030513
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Spermatozoa)
Mating or cervical deposition of spermatozoa or seminal plasma (SP) modifies the expression of genes affecting local immune defense processes at the oviductal sperm reservoir in animals with internal fertilization, frequently by down-regulation. Such responses may occur alongside sperm transport to or even beyond the reservoir. Here, immune-related gene expression was explored with cDNA microarrays on porcine cervix-to-infundibulum tissues, pre-/peri-ovulation. Samples were collected 24 h post-mating or cervical deposition of sperm-peak spermatozoa or SP (from the sperm-peak fraction or the whole ejaculate). All treatments of this interventional study affected gene expression. The concerted action of spermatozoa and SP down-regulated chemokine and cytokine (P00031), interferon-gamma signaling (P00035), and JAK/STAT (P00038) pathways in segments up to the sperm reservoir (utero-tubal junction (UTJ)/isthmus). Spermatozoa in the vanguard sperm-peak fraction (P1-AI), uniquely displayed an up-regulatory effect on these pathways in the ampulla and infundibulum. Sperm-free SP, on the other hand, did not lead to major effects on gene expression, despite the clinical notion that SP mitigates reactivity by the female immune system after mating or artificial insemination.