The aim of this study was to identify conceptus-derived proteins, in addition to IFNT, that may facilitate pregnancy recognition in cattle. Analysis of the protein content of the uterine luminal fluid (ULF) from cyclic heifers on Day 16 by nano liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry identified 334 proteins. Comparison of these data with 299 proteins identified in the ULF of pregnant heifers on Day 16 identified 85 proteins only present in the ULF of pregnant heifers. Analysis of Day 16 conceptus-conditioned culture medium revealed the presence of 1005 proteins of which 30 proteins were unique to ULF from Day 16 pregnant heifers. Of these 30 proteins, 12 had mRNA expression values at least 2-fold higher in abundance (P < 0.05) in the conceptus compared to the endometrium (ARPC5L, CAPG, CKMT1, CSTB, HSPA8, HSPE1, LGALS3, MSN, NUTF2, P4HB, PRKAR2A, TKT) as determined by RNA sequencing. In addition, genes that have a significant biological interaction with the proteins (ACO2, CKMT1, CSTB, EEF2, GDI1, GLB1, GPLD1, HNRNPA1, HNRNPA2B1, HNRNPF, HSPA8, HSPE1, IDH2, KRT75, LGALS3, MSN, NUTF2, P4HB, PRKAR2A, PSMA4, PSMB5, PSMC4, SERPINA3, TKT) were differentially expressed in the endometrium of pregnant compared to cyclic heifers during the pregnancy recognition period (Days 16-18). These results indicate that 30 proteins unique to ULF from pregnant heifers and produced by short-term in vitro cultured Day 16 conceptuses could potentially be involved in facilitating the interactions between the conceptus and the endometrium during the pregnancy recognition period.
Keywords: conceptus; endometrium; gene expression; proteomics; uterine luminal fluid.
© 2015 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.