Interpretive Summary: Ruminant conceptus-maternal interactions: interferon-tau and beyond
Early pregnancy losses are common in cattle. This review describes how critical the interplay between the developing conceptus (embryo and extraembryonic membranes) and endometrium is to maintaining pregnancies in cattle and other ruminants. The discovery of interferon-tau more than 40 yr ago initiated a new field of reproductive biology focused on describing how the conceptus and endometrium communicate with one another through the secretion of paracrine factors, extracellular vesicles, and other molecules. The use of “omic” and gene editing technologies has assisted with identifying novel functions for many conceptus and endometrial secreted factors. This review provides examples of how conceptus sex, quality, and in vitro vs. in vivo development influences endometrial function. The endometrium appears to have some flexibility in its response to conceptuses, and this insight could be used to our advantage as we work towards developing schemes to rescue conceptuses that are in danger of experiencing pregnancy loss.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.