In mammalian reproduction, embryo implantation into the uterus is spatiotemporally regulated by a complex process triggered by a number of factors. Although previous studies have suggested that uterine receptivity is mediated by blastocyst-derived factors, specific functions of embryos remain to be defined during preimplantation. Therefore, the present study was conducted to identify the maternal genes regulated by embryo-secreted factors in the rat uterus. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data revealed that 10 genes are up-regulated in the delayed implantation uterus compared with the pseudopregnancy uterus. The RNA-seq results were further verified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Sulf1 expression is significantly (P < 0.05) induced in the delayed implantation uterus, although Areg, Calca, Fxyd4 and Lamc3 show a definite but non-statistically significant increase in their expression levels. During early pregnancy, the levels of Areg, Calca, Fxyd4, Lamc3 and Sulf1 expression at 3.5 days post coitus (dpc) are significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those at 1.5 dpc. Treatment with embryo-conditioned media revealed that Lamc3 and Sulf1 are up-regulated compared with the other genes studied. Thus, embryo-derived factors regulate maternal gene expression, with Lamc3 and Sulf1 possibly being suitable markers for a response study of embryo-secreted factors to improve our understanding of embryo-maternal communication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology