Implantation and Establishment of Pregnancy in Ruminants.

Advances in anatomy, embryology, and cell biology

PubMedID: 26450497

Spencer TE, Hansen TR. Implantation and Establishment of Pregnancy in Ruminants. Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol. 2015;216105-35.
The establishment of pregnancy in ruminants occurs during the peri-implantation period and involves the suppression of the endometrial luteolytic mechanism to maintain progesterone production by the corpus luteum (CL). Reciprocal interactions between the elongating conceptus (embryo/fetus and associated extraembryonic membranes) and endometrium culminate in implantation. Antiluteolytic effects of the conceptus are due to the production of interferon tau (IFNT) by the trophoblast that has a paracrine effect to inhibit the upregulation of oxytocin receptors in the endometrial epithelia, thereby disrupting uterine release of luteolytic prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF) pulses. Additionally, IFNT is released into the uterine vein and has endocrine actions to induce ISGs in peripheral tissues. For example, IFNT may induce luteal resistance to PGF, thereby ensuring survival of the CL and maintenance of pregnancy. Survival of the blastocyst and elongation of the conceptus requires embryotrophic factors from the epithelia of the uterus, and those embryotrophic factors are regulated by ovarian progesterone as well as conceptus-derived factors including IFNT and prostaglandins. This review provides new concepts on mechanisms of the establishment of pregnancy and implantation in ruminants with emphasis on conceptus-maternal signaling associated with elongation of the blastocyst and endometrial responses to the presence of a conceptus.