Activin is secreted from equine uterine glands and plays important roles in establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in mares. This study aimed to localize activin receptors (ActRs) IA/B and IIA/B using immunohistochemistry in the uteroplacental tissues of seven pregnant Thoroughbred mares. At the time of tissue collection, the mares were at the following days of pregnancy: 88, 120, 161, 269, 290, 313, and 335 days. We fixed the uteroplacental tissues in 4% paraformaldehyde and obtained serial sections that were subsequently stained for analysis. All four isoforms of ActR were expressed in the uteroplacental tissues, including the endometrial epithelium, uterine glands, trophoblasts, and myometrium, throughout pregnancy. Our results suggested the potential role of activin in the uteroplacental tissues.
Keywords: activin; activin receptor; pregnant mare; uteroplacental tissues.