Background: A number of studies have examined mRNA expression profiles of bovine endometrium at estrus and around the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. However, to date, these studies have been performed on the whole endometrium which is a complex tissue. Consequently, the knowledge of cell-specific gene expression, when analysis performed with whole endometrium, is still weak and obviously limits the relevance of the results of gene expression studies. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize specific transcriptome of the three main cell-types of the bovine endometrium at day-15 of the estrus cycle.
Results: In the RNA-Seq analysis, the number of expressed genes detected over 10 transcripts per million was 6622, 7814 and 8242 for LE, GE and ST respectively. ST expressed exclusively 1236 genes while only 551 transcripts were specific to the GE and 330 specific to LE. For ST, over-represented biological processes included many regulation processes and response to stimulus, cell communication and cell adhesion, extracellular matrix organization as well as developmental process. For GE, cilium organization, cilium movement, protein localization to cilium and microtubule-based process were the only four main biological processes enriched. For LE, over-represented biological processes were enzyme linked receptor protein signaling pathway, cell-substrate adhesion and circulatory system process.
Conclusion: The data show that each endometrial cell-type has a distinct molecular signature and provide a significantly improved overview on the biological process supported by specific cell-types. The most interesting result is that stromal cells express more genes than the two epithelial types and are associated with a greater number of pathways and ontology terms.
Keywords: Cell type-specific; Cow; Endometrium; LCM; RNA-seq; Transcriptome.