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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0307    [Accepted] Published online September 15, 2021.
Inhibitors of apoptosis: expression and regulation in the endometrium during the estrous cycle and at the maternal-conceptus interface during pregnancy in pigs
Inkyu Yoo1  , Wonchul Jung1  , Soohyung Lee1  , Yugyeong Cheon1  , Hakhyun Ka1,* 
Department of Biological Science and Technology, Yonsei University, Wonju 26493, Korea
Correspondence:  Hakhyun Ka, Tel: +82-33-760-2369, Fax: +82-33-760-2183, Email: hka@yonsei.ac.kr
Received: 7 July 2021   • Revised: 18 August 2021   • Accepted: 5 September 2021
Caspase-mediated apoptosis plays a crucial role in the regulation of endometrial and placental function in females. Caspase activity is tightly controlled by members of the inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) family. However, the expression and regulation of IAPs at the maternal-conceptus interface has not been studied in pigs. Therefore, we determined the expression of IAP family members BIRC1 (baculovirus IAP repeat-containing 1) to BIRC6 at the maternal-conceptus interface in pigs.
We obtained endometrial tissues from pigs at various stages of the estrous cycle and pregnancy, conceptus tissues during early pregnancy, and chorioallantoic tissues during mid- to late pregnancy and analyzed the expression of IAPs. Furthermore, we determined the effects of the steroid hormones estradiol-17β (E2) and progesterone on the expression of IAPs in endometrial explant tissue cultures.
During the estrous cycle, BIRC2 and BIRC5 expression varied cyclically, and during pregnancy, endometrial BIRC1, BIRC2, BIRC3, BIRC4, and BIRC5 expression varied in a stage-specific manner. Conceptus and chorioallantoic tissues also expressed IAPs during pregnancy. The BIRC2 and BIR3 mRNAs were localized to luminal epithelial cells, and BIRC4 proteins to glandular epithelial cells in the endometrium. Exposure of endometrial tissues to E2 increased the expression of BIRC6, while progesterone increased the expression of BIRC1, BIRC4, and BIRC6 in a dose-dependent manner.


These results indicated that IAPs were expressed in the endometrium during the estrous cycle and at the maternal-conceptus interface during pregnancy in a stage-specific manner. In addition, steroid hormones were found to be responsible for the expression of some IAPs in pigs. Together, the results suggested that IAPs may play important roles in endometrial and placental functions by regulating caspase action and apoptosis at the maternal-conceptus interface.
Keywords: Pig; Endometrium; Apoptosis; Caspase; Inhibitors of Apoptosis

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