EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

Theriogenology

Expression of hypoxia-inducible factors and vascular endothelial growth factor during pregnancy in the feline uterus.


PMID 25794839

Abstract

Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have critical roles during the development of the fetomaternal unit. The HIFs regulate placentation and vascularization by stimulation of VEGF gene expression. This study aimed to investigate the expression profiles of HIF gene family and VEGF in the cat uterus during pregnancy. Tissue samples of the whole uterine wall were collected after ovariohysterectomy and allocated to the following groups: embryo positive (group 1 [G1], n = 7, 7 days after mating), early pregnancy (group 2 [G2], n = 7, 20 days after mating), mid-pregnancy (group 3 [G3], n = 7, 24 days after mating), late pregnancy (group 4 [G4], n = 7, 30-45 days after mating), and oocyte positive groups (group 5 [G5], n = 7, 7 days after induction of ovulation with GnRH analog). Relative mRNA levels were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. As housekeeping gene, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was used. The relative gene expression of HIF1A in G5 was found to be significantly higher than that of other groups (G1, G2, G3, and G4) (P < 0.05). In addition, the expression of HIF2A in G5 was higher than that of G1 and HIF2A gene expression at placentation sites of G4 was higher than in G1, G2, and G3 (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemistry indicated that HIF1A, HIF2A, and VEGF expressions were observed in different cell types of uterine and placental tissues in late pregnancy and oocyte groups. The expression of HIF3A did not change significantly in any group investigated. These observations suggest that HIFs and VEGF may play a role in the establishment and development of pregnancy.