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Open AccessArticle

Expression of Enzymes Associated with Prostaglandin Synthesis in Equine Conceptuses

1
Platform for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer, Department for Small Animals and Horses, Vetmeduni Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Vetmeduni Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
3
VetCore Facility for Research, Vetmeduni Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Cristina Veronesi
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041180
Received: 4 March 2021 / Revised: 14 April 2021 / Accepted: 16 April 2021 / Published: 20 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Reproduction of Equids)
The mobile preimplantative phase of equine gestation, taking place between day 9 and 16 after ovulation, is characterized by peristaltic contractions of the uterus caused by secretion of prostaglandins by the spheric equine conceptus. This mobility is necessary for maternal recognition of pregnancy in equids, taking place around day 14 after ovulation. The presented study investigated the spatial and temporal abundance of prostaglandin synthesis enzymes of the equine conceptus, elucidating a basal and an inducible system for prostaglandin E2. Prostaglandin F2α synthesis is restricted to the “periembryonic”pole area and relies on enzymatic conversion of prostaglandin E2. This scenario led to a model able to explain the embryonic forward motion driven by the peristaltic contractions of the uterus. In vitro incubation of primary trophoblast cell cultures with oxytocin showed no influence of this hormone on prostaglandin synthesis.
In the horse, mobility of the conceptus is required for maternal recognition of pregnancy depending on secretion of prostaglandins by the conceptus. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and localization of key enzymes of the different pathways leading to synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and F2α in the equine conceptus during the mobility phase. Enzyme expression was analyzed via quantitative RT-PCR in total RNA samples of equine conceptuses collected on days 10 (n = 5), 12 (n = 12), 14 (n = 5) and 16 (n = 7) from healthy mares. Relative abundance of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 mRNA was higher (p < 0.05) than of COX-1 irrespective of conceptus age and for phospholipase A2 on day 16 in comparison to all other days (p < 0.01). Abundance of mRNA of cytosolic and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) and of carbonyl reductase (CBR) 1 was not influenced by conceptus age. Immunohistochemically, COX-1, COX-2, as well as cytosolic and microsomal PGES were present in both the ectodermal and endodermal layer of the yolk sac wall. CBR-1 was restricted to periembryonic disc area. The localisation of the key enzymes explains the mechanism of embryo mobility. In vitro incubation of primary trophoblast cell cultures with oxytocin had no effect on key enzyme synthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: equine embryo mobility; prostaglandin synthesis; maternal recognition of pregnancy equine embryo mobility; prostaglandin synthesis; maternal recognition of pregnancy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Budik, S.; Walter, I.; Leitner, M.-C.; Ertl, R.; Aurich, C. Expression of Enzymes Associated with Prostaglandin Synthesis in Equine Conceptuses. Animals 2021, 11, 1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041180

AMA Style

Budik S, Walter I, Leitner M-C, Ertl R, Aurich C. Expression of Enzymes Associated with Prostaglandin Synthesis in Equine Conceptuses. Animals. 2021; 11(4):1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041180

Chicago/Turabian Style

Budik, Sven; Walter, Ingrid; Leitner, Marie-Christine; Ertl, Reinhard; Aurich, Christine. 2021. "Expression of Enzymes Associated with Prostaglandin Synthesis in Equine Conceptuses" Animals 11, no. 4: 1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041180

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