Uterine homeostasis is maintained after mating by eliminating pathogens, foreign cells, and proteins by a transient inflammation of the uterus. Such inflammation does not occur in the oviductal sperm reservoir (utero-tubal junction, UTJ), colonized by a population of potentially fertile spermatozoa before the inflammatory changes are triggered. Semen entry (spermatozoa and/or seminal plasma) modifies the expression of regulatory genes, including cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts. Considering pigs display a fractionated ejaculation, this study aims to determine whether different ejaculate fractions differentially modulate cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts in the sow reproductive tract during the peri-ovulatory stage. Using species-specific microarray analyses, the differential expression of 144 cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts was studied in specific segments: cervix (Cvx), distal and proximal uterus (DistUt, ProxUt), UTJ, isthmus (Isth), ampulla (Amp), and infundibulum (Inf) of the peri-ovulatory sow reproductive tract in response to semen and/or seminal plasma cervical deposition. Most mRNA expression changes were induced by mating. In addition, while mating upregulates the fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1, p-value DistUt = 0.0007; ProxUt = 0.0253) transcript in the endometrium, both its receptor, the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1, p-value DistUt = 2.14 e−06; ProxUt = 0.0027; UTJ = 0.0458) transcript, and a potentiator of its biological effect, the fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (FGFBP1), were downregulated in the endometrium (p-value DistUt = 0.0068; ProxUt = 0.0011) and the UTJ (p-value UTJ = 0.0191). The FGFBP1 was downregulated in the whole oviduct after seminal depositions (p-value Isth = 0.0007; Amp = 0.0007; Inf = 6.87 e−05) and, interestingly, FGFR1 was downregulated in the endometrium in the absence of semen (p-value DistUt = 0.0097; ProxUt = 0.0456). In conclusion, the findings suggest that spermatozoa, seminal components, and the act of mating trigger, besides inflammation, differential mechanisms in the peri-ovulatory female reproductive tract, relevant for tissue repair.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2022|
- cell differentiation
- cell proliferation
- fibroblast growth factors
- insulin-like growth factors