Date Published:JUN 16
Abstract:BackgroundMaintenance of the corpus luteum (CL) beyond the time of luteolysis is essential for establishing pregnancy. Identifying the distinct features of early pregnancy CL remains unresolved, hence we analyzed here the transcriptome of CL on day 18 pregnant (P) and non-pregnant (NP) cows using RNA-Seq. CL of P cows expressed ISGs, verifying exposure to the pregnancy recognition signal, interferon-tau (IFNT), whereas the CL of NP cows had elevated luteal progesterone levels, implying that luteolysis had not yet commenced.ResultsThe DEGs, IPA, and metascape canonical pathways, along with GSEA analysis, differed markedly in the CL of P cows from those of NP cows, at the same day of the cycle. Both metascape and IPA identified similar significantly enriched pathways such as interferon alpha/beta, sonic hedgehog pathway, TNFA, EDN1, TGFB1, and PDGF. However, type-1 interferon and sonic hedgehog pathways were positively enriched whereas most of the enriched pathways were downregulated in the P compared to NP samples. Thirty-four % of these pathways are known to be elevated by PGF2A during luteolysis. Notably, selective DEGs in luteinized granulosa cells were modulated by IFNT in vitro in a similar manner to their regulation in the CL of P cows.ConclusionThis study unraveled the unique transcriptomic signature of the IFNT-exposed, early pregnancy CL, highlighting the abundance of downregulated pathways known to be otherwise induced during luteolysis. These and IFNT-regulated in vitro pregnancy-specific DEGs suggest that IFNT contributes to the characteristics and maintenance of early pregnancy CL.