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Expression of the orexin system in the porcine uterus, conceptus and trophoblast during early pregnancy

  • N. Smolinska (a1), M. Kiezun (a1), K. Dobrzyn (a1), K. Szeszko (a1), A. Maleszka (a1) and T. Kaminski (a1)...

Abstract

Orexin A and B are hypothalamic peptides derived from the prepro-orexin (PPO) precursor. Orexins stimulate food intake and arousal. Those peptides bind and activate two G protein-coupled receptors: orexin receptor 1 (OX1R) and orexin receptor 2 (OX2R). Numerous authors have suggested that orexins play an important role in the regulation of the reproductive functions. The objective of the present study was to analyse the presence of and changes in the gene and protein expression pattern of the orexin system in the porcine uterus, conceptus and trophoblast (chorioallantois) during early pregnancy. In the endometrium, the highest PPO and OX1R gene expression was detected on days 15 to 16 of gestation. The OX2R mRNA content in the endometrium was higher on days 10 to 11 and 15 to 16 than on days 12 to 13 and 27 to 28. In the trophoblasts, PPO gene expression was higher on days 30 to 32 than on days 27 to 28. The highest PPO protein content in the endometrium was noted on days 12 to 13. The highest OX1R protein content in the endometrium was detected on days 10 to 11, whereas OX2R protein on days 15 to 16. In the trophoblasts, PPO and OX1R protein levels were more pronounced on days 27 to 28 than on days 30 to 32, but OX2R expression was higher on days 30 to 32. The expression of PPO, OX1R and OX2R was different in the conceptuses and trophoblasts during early pregnancy. Local orexin production and the presence of the specific orexin receptors suggest that the orexin system may participate in the control of porcine reproductive functions by exerting endocrine and auto/paracrine effects on the uterus, conceptuses and trophoblasts during early pregnancy. This study provides the first evidence for the presence of orexins and their receptors in the uteri, conceptuses and trophoblasts in pigs during early pregnancy. The local orexin system is dependent on the stage of pregnancy.

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