Estradiol-17β (E2) is a key hormone regulating reproductive functions in females. In pigs, E2, as the main conceptus signal, initiates processes resulting in prolonged corpus luteum function, embryo development, and implantation. During early pregnancy the endometrium undergoes morphological and physiological transitions that are tightly related to transcriptome changes. Recently, however, the importance of E2 as a primary conceptus signal in the pig has been questionable. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the effects of E2 on the porcine endometrial transcriptome in vivo and to compare these effects with transcriptome profiles on day 12 of pregnancy. Microarray analysis revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to E2 with overrepresented functional terms related to secretive functions, extracellular vesicles, cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, tissue rearrangements, immune response, lipid metabolism, and many others. Numerous common DEGs and processes for the endometrium on day 12 of pregnancy and E2-treated endometrium were identified. In summary, the present study is the first evidence for the effect of E2 on transcriptome profiles in porcine endometrium in vivo in the period corresponding to the maternal recognition of pregnancy. The presented results provide a valuable resource for further targeted studies considering genes and pathways regulated by conceptus-derived estrogens and their role in pregnancy establishment.
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