Effects of neonatal exposure to methoxychlor on corpus luteum in gilts: A transcriptomic analysis

Mol Reprod Dev. 2021 Mar;88(3):238-248. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23463. Epub 2021 Mar 2.


This study investigated the effects of neonatal exposure to methoxychlor (MXC), a synthetic organochlorine used as an insecticide with estrogenic, antiestrogenic, and antiandrogenic activities, on luteal function in pigs. Piglets were injected subcutaneously with MXC (20 μg/kg body weight) or corn oil (control) between postnatal Days 1 and 10 (N = 5/group). Corpora lutea from sexually mature gilts were examined for luteal steroid and prostaglandin concentrations and processed for total RNA isolation and subsequent RNA sequencing. Intra-luteal concentrations of androstenedione and prostaglandin E2 were greater, while that of estrone was lower when compared to control. Fifty-three differentially expressed (DE) microRNAS (miRNAs) (p-adjusted <.05 and log2(fold change) ≥.5) and 359 DE genes (p-adjusted <.05 and log2(fold change) ≥1) were identified in luteal tissue in response to neonatal MXC treatment. MXC was found to affect the expression of genes related to lipogenesis, steroidogenesis, membrane transport, immune response, cell signaling and adhesion. These results suggest an earlier onset of structural luteolysis in pigs caused by MXC actions in neonates. Since negative correlation analysis showed the potential interactions of miRNAs with specific messenger RNAs, we propose that these miRNAs are potential mediators of the long-term MXC effect on the CL function in pigs.

Keywords: CL; RNA-Seq; methoxychlor; miRNA; pig.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't