Quantification of interferon-tau during the maternal recognition of pregnancy in Bos taurus indicus cows
Keywords:Uterine environment, IFN-, Western-Blotting, Pregnancy, Bovine
AbstractDuring the critical period of the maternal recognition, which occurs between days 15 and 19 of pregnancy, the conceptus must competently synthesize molecules capable of blocking the synthesis of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and luteolysis. In cattle, the major macromolecule involved in suck blockage is the protein interferon-tau (IFN-τ). During the critical period, failures in the recognition of pregnancy determine embryonic mortality on up to 40% of inseminated cows. Data about IFN-τ in Bos taurus indicus are still scarce. Objective of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the presence of IFN-τ during the critical period for maternal recognition of pregnancy in uterine flushings obtained in vivo by Foley catheter (Days 14, 16 and 18 post estrus) or post-mortem (Day 18 post estrus). Multiparous, cyclic or pregnant zebu cows (Bos taurus indicus) on days 14, 16 and 18 post estrus were used for in vivo or post mortem uterine flushing collection. In both cases, a Ringer solution was used to wash the uterus of cows. Uterine flushings were concentrated by ultra-filtration and lyophilized. Proteins were separated by one-dimensional electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in a 15% polyacrilamide gel. Interferon-tau quantification in uterine flushings was performed by western blotting and densitometry. Non-specific protein bands were observed in both in vivo and post mortem uterine flushings. Interferon-tau was detected only in uterine flushings obtained from pregnant cows post-mortem (P<0.05). Optical density of protein bands was not affected by the day of the critical period, state (cyclic or pregnant) or interaction day x state. There was no effect of the conceptus weight or progesterone concentration on the day of uterine flushing collection in the optical density of the IFN-τ protein band. It was concluded that the detection and quantification of IFN-τ in the uterine environment of zebu cows, in these experimental?conditions, is only possible in uterine flushings obtained post-mortem.
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