Reproduction, Fertility and Development
The present retrospective study investigates pregnancy rates, incidence of pregnancy losses and large offspring syndrome (LOS), and immune-related gene expression of sheep and goat somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) pregnancies. We hypothesized that significantly higher pregnancy losses observed in sheep SCNT pregnancies compared to goats are due to the increased amounts of T-helper 1 cytokines and pro-inflammatory mediators at the maternal-fetal interface. Sheep and goat SCNT pregnancies were generated using the same procedure. Control pregnancies were established by natural breeding. Although SCNT pregnancy rates at 45 days were similar in both species, pregnancy losses between 45 and 60 days and incidence of LOS were significantly increased in sheep compared with goats. At term, the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in sheep SCNT placentas was increased while the one of goat SCNT was similar to the control animals. Among the genes that had altered expression in sheep SCNT placentas are CTLA4, IL2RA, CD28, IFNG, IL6, IL10, TGFB1, TNF, IL1A and CXCL8. MHC-I protein expression was greater in sheep and goat SCNT placentas at term compared with control pregnancies. An unfavorable immune environment is present at the maternal-fetal interface in sheep SCNT pregnancies.
Rutigliano, Heloisa M.; Wilhelm, Amanda; Hall, Justin; Shi, Bi; Meng, Qinggang; Stott, Rusty; Bunch, Tom D.; White, Kenneth L.; Davies, Christopher J.; and Polejaeva, Irina A., "Cytokine Gene Expression in the Maternal-Fetal Interface in Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Pregnancies in Small Ruminants" (2015). Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science Faculty Publications. Paper 1231.