Interpretive Summary: Insights from two independent transcriptomic studies of the bovine corpus luteum during pregnancy
Reproductive efficiency is necessary for the financial and environmental sustainability of cattle production. A critical component of this efficiency is the maintenance of pregnancy. The corpus luteum (CL) is a transient ovarian endocrine gland that produces progesterone—the hormone that maintains pregnancy in all mammals. With each new reproductive cycle, a new CL is formed from the remnant of the ovulatory follicle, and at the end of each cycle, in the absence of a pregnancy, the CL regresses in response to prostaglandin F2α from the uterus. In contrast, in the presence of a pregnancy, the CL is rescued from regression by the embryo, in a process known as maternal recognition of pregnancy. The embryo is known to alter uterine function, but its effect on the CL has remained a mystery until recent years. In this study, we compared two independent studies of global changes in the CL of pregnancy, to identify the most important luteal changes that occur during early pregnancy. We confirmed evidence for embryonic signaling to the CL and generated a list of candidate genes that are the likeliest regulators of changes to luteal function in early pregnancy. This list includes regulators of tissue integrity and inflammation.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.