Uterine Biology of the Pig: Gene Expression for Establishment of Pregnancy
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Pigs have considerable economic benefits so the death of 20 to 40 percent of their embryos during pregnancy represents a major economic loss . Therefore, identifying the expression of key genes associated with embryonic development and their roles during pregnancy is essential. Estrogen produced by the embryonic membranes of the conceptus (embryo and its extra-embryonic membranes) between Days 11 through 13 and then Days 15 through 25 of gestation in the pig act with prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland of the maternal system for pregnancy recognition signaling to maintain functional corpora lutea on the ovaries to produce progesterone, the hormone of pregnancy. The effect of the endogenous estrogens can be mimicked by injecting exogenous estrogen on Days 11 through 15 of the estrous cycle. Estrogen increases expression of receptors for prolactin. Understanding the interactions between conceptus and uterine endometrium is required for successful establishment of pregnancy and induction of expression of genes is critical for conceptus survival and development.
Brown, Gladys (2014). Uterine Biology of the Pig: Gene Expression for Establishment of Pregnancy. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from