© 2019 The Author(s). Background: The uterus is a histologically dynamic organ, and the mechanisms coordinating its regeneration during the oestrous cycle and implantation are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to isolate, immortalize and characterize bovine endometrial mesenchymal stem cell (eMSC) lines from different oestrous cycle stages (embryo in the oviduct, embryo in the uterus or absence of embryo) and examine their migratory and immunomodulatory properties in an inflammatory or implantation-like environment, as well as possible changes in cell transdifferentiation. Methods: eMSCs were isolated and analysed in terms of morphological features, expression of cell surface and intracellular markers of pluripotency, inmunocytochemical analyses, alkaline phosphatase activity, proliferation and osteogenic or chondrogenic differentiation capacities, as well as their ability to migrate in response to inflammatory (TNF-α or IL-1β) or implantation (IFN-τ) cytokines and their immunomodulatory effect in the proliferation of T cells. Results: All eMSCs showed MSC properties such as adherence to plastic, high proliferative capacity, expression of CD44 and vimentin, undetectable expression of CD34 or MHCII, positivity for Pou5F1 and alkaline phosphatase activity. In the absence of an embryo, eMSC showed an apparent mesenchymal to epithelial transition state. eMSC during the entire oestrous cycle differentiated to osteogenic or chondrogenic lineages, showed the ability to suppress T cell proliferation and showed migratory capacity towards pro-inflammatory signal, while responded with a block in their migration to the embryo-derived pregnancy signal. Conclusion: This study describes for the first time the isolation, immortalization and characterization of bovine mesenchymal stem cell lines from different oestrous cycle stages, with a clear mesenchymal pattern and immunomodulatory properties. Our study also reports that the migratory capacity of the eMSC was increased towards an inflammatory niche but was reduced in response to the expression of implantation cytokine by the embryo. The combination of both signals (pro-inflammatory and implantation) would ensure the retention of eMSC in case of pregnancy, to ensure the immunomodulation necessary in the mother for embryo survival. In addition, in the absence of an embryo, eMSC showed an apparent mesenchymal to epithelial transition state.
- Cell migration
- Embryo implantation
- Endometrial mesenchymal stem cells