The RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), some of them induced by transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, are crucial regulators of RNA function that can contribute to reproductive pathogenesis, including inflammation and immune dysfunction. This study aimed to reveal the influence of spermatozoa, seminal plasma, or natural mating on mRNA expression of RBPs and TRP ion channels in different segments of the internal genital tract of oestrous, preovulatory sows. Particularly, we focused on mRNA expression changes of the cold-inducible proteins (CIPs) and related TRP channels. Pre-ovulatory sows were naturally mated (NM) or cervically infused with semen (Semen-AI) or sperm-free seminal plasma either from the entire ejaculate (SP-TOTAL) or the sperm-rich fraction (SP-AI). Samples (cervix to infundibulum) were collected by laparotomy under general anaesthesia for transcriptomic analysis (GeneChip® Porcine Gene 1.0 ST Array) 24 h after treatments. The NM treatment induced most of the mRNA expression changes, compared to Semen-AI, SP-AI, and SP-TOTAL treatments including unique significative changes in CIRBP, RBM11, RBM15B, RBMS1, TRPC1, TRPC4, TRPC7, and TRPM8. The findings on the differential mRNA expression on RBPs and TRP ion channels, especially to CIPs and related TRP ion channels, suggest that spermatozoa and seminal plasma differentially modulated both protein families during the preovulatory phase, probably related to a still unknown early signalling mechanism in the sow reproductive tract.
- Cold-inducible proteins
- Cold-sensitive TRP ion channels
- Seminal plasma