Pulse of inflammatory proteins in the pregnant uterus of European polecats (Mustela putorius) leading to the time of implantation

Lindeberg, H., Burchmore, R. J.S. and Kennedy, M. W. (2017) Pulse of inflammatory proteins in the pregnant uterus of European polecats (Mustela putorius) leading to the time of implantation. Royal Society Open Science, 4(3), 161085. (doi: 10.1098/rsos.161085) (PMID:28405395) (PMCID:PMC5383852)

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Uterine secretory proteins protect the uterus and conceptuses against infection, facilitate implantation, control cellular damage resulting from implantation, and supply pre-implantation embryos with nutrients. Unlike in humans, the early conceptus of the European polecat (Mustela putorius; ferret) grows and develops free in the uterus until implanting at about 12 days after mating. We found that the proteins appearing in polecat uteri changed dramatically with time leading to implantation. Several of these proteins have also been found in pregnant uteri of other eutherian mammals. However, we found a combination of two increasingly abundant proteins that have not been recorded before in pre-placentation uteri. First, the broad-spectrum proteinase inhibitor α2-macroglobulin rose to dominate the protein profile by the time of implantation. Its functions may be to limit damage caused by the release of proteinases during implantation or infection, and to control other processes around sites of implantation. Second, lipocalin-1 (also known as tear lipocalin) also increased substantially in concentration. This protein has not previously been recorded as a uterine secretion in pregnancy in any species. If polecat lipocalin-1 has similar biological properties to that of humans, then it may have a combined function in antimicrobial protection and transporting or scavenging lipids. The changes in the uterine secretory protein repertoire of European polecats is therefore unusual, and may be representative of pre-placentation supportive uterine secretions in mustelids (otters, weasels, badgers, mink, wolverines) in general.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Mustela putorius, ferret, lipocalin-1, pregnancy, uterine secretions, α2-macroglobulin.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kennedy, Professor Malcolm and Burchmore, Dr Richard
Authors: Lindeberg, H., Burchmore, R. J.S., and Kennedy, M. W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Royal Society Open Science
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN (Online):2054-5703
Published Online:22 March 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Royal Society Open Science 4(3):161085
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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