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Transcriptome analysis reveals differences in mechanisms regulating cessation of luteal function in pregnant and non-pregnant dogs.


ABSTRACT: In the domestic dog, corpora lutea (CL) are the only source of progesterone (P4), both in pregnant and non-pregnant cycles because there is no placental steroidogenesis. The absence of an endogenous luteolysin in absence of pregnancy results in long-lasting physiological pseudopregnancy, strongly contrasting with the acute luteolysis observed prepartum. The underlying biological mechanisms and the involvement of P4 signalling remain, however, not fully understood. Therefore, here, next-generation sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed on CL from the late luteal phase and compared with normally luteolyzing CL collected at the prepartum P4 decrease.The contrast "luteal regression over luteolysis" yielded 1595 differentially expressed genes (DEG). The CL in late luteal regression were predominantly associated with functional terms linked to extracellular matrix (p = 5.52e-05). Other terms related to transcriptional activity (p = 2.45e-04), and steroid hormone signalling (p = 2.29e-04), which were more highly represented in late regression than during luteolysis. The prepartum luteolysis was associated with immune inflammatory responses (p = 2.87e-14), including acute-phase reaction (p = 4.10e-06). Immune system-related events were also more highly represented in CL derived from normal luteolysis (p = 7.02e-04), compared with those from dogs in which luteolysis was induced with an antigestagen (1480 DEG in total). Additionally, the withdrawal of P4 at mid-gestation resulted in 92 DEG; over-represented terms enriched in antigestagen-treated dogs were related to the inflammatory response (p = 0.005) or response to IL1 (p = 7.29e-05). Terms related to proliferation, e.g., centrosome organization (p = 0.002) and steroid metabolic processes (p = 0.001), prevailed at mid-gestation. Thereby, our results revealed the nature of luteotropic effects of P4 within canine CL. It appears that, even though they result in diminished steroidogenic output, the effect of antigestagens is more related to the withdrawal of P4 support than to the PGF2alpha-related inflammatory reaction observed at physiological parturition.We report the differential gene expression associated with maintenance and cessation of luteal function in pregnant and non-pregnant dogs. Based on the differentially expressed genes, we indicate functional pathways and gene networks that are potentially involved in the underlying endocrine and molecular mechanisms. This study establishes future research directions that may be helpful in understanding some of the clinical conditions, such as luteal insufficiency, associated with negative pregnancy outcome in dogs.

SUBMITTER: Zatta S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5618722 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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