Interaction of preimplantation factor with the global bovine endometrial transcriptome

Ruth E. Wonfor*, Christopher J. Creevey, Manuela Natoli, Matthew Hegarty, Deborah M. Nash, Michael T. Rose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)
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Preimplantation factor (PIF) is an embryo derived peptide which exerts an immune modulatory effect on human endometrium, promoting immune tolerance to the embryo whilst maintaining the immune response to invading pathogens. While bovine embryos secrete PIF, the effect on the bovine endometrium is unknown. Maternal recognition of pregnancy is driven by an embryo-maternal cross talk, however the process differs between humans and cattle. As many embryos are lost during the early part of pregnancy in cattle, a greater knowledge of factors affecting the embryo-maternal crosstalk, such as PIF, is needed to improve fertility. Therefore, for the first time, we demonstrate the effect of synthetic PIF (sPIF) on the bovine transcriptome in an ex vivo bovine endometrial tissue culture model. Explants were cultured for 30h with sPIF (100nM) or in control media. Total RNA was analysed via RNA-sequencing. As a result of sPIF treatment, 102 genes were differentially expressed compared to the control (Padj<0.1), although none by more than 2-fold. The majority of genes (78) were downregulated. Pathway analysis revealed targeting of several immune based pathways. Genes for the TNF, NF-κB, IL-17, MAPK and TLR signalling pathways were down-regulated by sPIF. However, some immune genes were demonstrated to be upregulated following sPIF treatment, including C3. Steroid biosynthesis was the only over-represented pathway with all genes upregulated. We demonstrate that sPIF can modulate the bovine endometrial transcriptome in an immune modulatory manner, like that in the human endometrium, however, the regulation of genes was much weaker than in previous human work.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242874
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 07 Dec 2020


  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Endometrium/drug effects
  • Female
  • Gene Ontology
  • Peptides/pharmacology
  • Progesterone/metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptome/drug effects


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