The expression and potential function of bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 in bovine trophectoderm

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 Feb 13;10:12. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-10-12.


Background: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) were first described for their roles in bone formation, but they now also are known to possess additional activities, including those relating to embryogenesis. The objectives of this work were to 1) determine if peri-attachment bovine conceptuses and bovine trophoblast cells (CT1) contain transcripts for BMP2 and 4, an innate inhibitor noggin (NOG), and BMP2/4 receptors (BMPRII, ACVR1, BMPR1A, BMPR1B), and 2) determine if BMP2 or 4 supplementation to CT1 cells affects cell proliferation, differentiation or trophoblast-specific gene expression.

Methods: RNA was isolated from day 17 bovine conceptuses and CT1 cells. After RT-PCR, amplified products were cloned and sequenced. In other studies CT1 cells were treated with BMP2 or 4 at various concentrations and effects on cell viability, cell differentiation and abundance of IFNT and CSH1 mRNA were evaluated.

Results: Transcripts for BMP2 and 4 were detected in bovine conceptuses and CT1 cells. Also, transcripts for each BMP receptor were detected in conceptuses and CT1 cells. Transcripts for NOG were detected in conceptuses but not CT1 cells. Cell proliferation was reduced by BMP4 but not BMP2 supplementation. Both factors reduced IFNT mRNA abundance but had no effect on CSH1 mRNA abundance in CT1 cells.

Conclusions: The BMP2/4 ligand and receptor system presides within bovine trophectoderm prior to uterine attachment. BMP4 negatively impacts CT1 cell growth and both BMPs affect IFNT mRNA abundance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / biosynthesis
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 / biosynthesis*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 / physiology
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 / biosynthesis*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 / physiology
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II / biosynthesis
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Cattle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Pregnancy Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Interferon Type I
  • Pregnancy Proteins
  • interferon tau
  • noggin protein
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II