Reproduction (Cambridge, England)

Expression of mesenchymal-related genes by the bovine trophectoderm following conceptus attachment to the endometrial epithelium.

PMID 22157247


In the course of experiments to identify and characterize the factors that function in bovine conceptuses during peri-attachment periods, various transcripts related to the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were found. In this study, RNA was extracted from different sets of days 17, 20, and 22 (day 0=day of estrous) bovine conceptuses and subjected to real-time PCR analysis as well as Western blotting, from which abundances of N-cadherin (CDH2), vimentin, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (gelatinase A, 72 kDa gelatinase, 72 kDa type IV collagenase) (MMP2), and matrix metallopeptidase 9 (gelatinase B, 92 kDa gelatinase, 92 kDa type IV collagenase) (MMP9) mRNAs were determined on day 22, concurrent with (CDH1) mRNA and protein downregulation. Transcription factors in EMT processes were then analyzed and changes in snail homolog 2 (Drosophila) (SNAI), zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2), twist homolog 1 (Drosophila) (TWIST1), twist homolog 2 (Drosophila) (TWIST2), and Kruppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) transcripts were found in day 22 conceptuses, while confirming SNAI2 expression by Western blotting. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the day 22 trophectoderm expressed the mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and vimentin as well as the epithelial marker cytokeratin. In attempts to identify the molecular mechanisms by which the trophectoderm expressed EMT-related genes, growth factor receptors associated with EMT were analyzed. Upregulation of the growth factor receptor transcripts, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), platelet-derived growth factor receptor, alpha polypeptide (PDGFRA), platelet-derived growth factor receptor, beta polypeptide (PDGFRB), and transforming growth factor, beta receptor II (70/80 kDa) (TGFBR2) mRNAs, was found on day 22. The analysis was extended to determine the integrin (ITG) transcripts and found high levels of integrin, alpha 4 (antigen CD49D, alpha 4 subunit of VLA-4 receptor) (ITGA4), integrin, alpha 8 (ITGA8), integrin, beta 3 (platelet glycoprotein IIIa, antigen CD61) (ITGB3), and integrin, beta 5 (ITGB5) mRNAs on day 22. These observations indicate that after the conceptus-endometrium attachment, EMT-related transcripts as well as the epithelial marker cytokeratin were present in the bovine trophectoderm and suggest that the implantation process for noninvasive trophoblasts requires not only extracellular matrix expression but also partial EMT.