Amino acids in the uterine luminal fluid reflects the temporal changes in transporter expression in the endometrium and conceptus during early pregnancy in cattle.
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In cattle, conceptus-maternal interactions are critical for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. A major component of this early interaction involves the transport of nutrients and secretion of key molecules by uterine epithelial cells to help support conceptus development during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. Objectives were to: 1) analyze temporal changes in the amino acid (AA) content of uterine luminal fluid (ULF) during the bovine estrous cycle; 2) understand conceptus-induced alterations in AA content; 3) determine expression of AA transporters in the endometrium and conceptus; and 4) determine how these transporters are modulated by (Progesterone) P4. Concentrations of aspartic acid, arginine, glutamine, histidine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine and tyrosine decreased on Day 16 of the estrous cycle but increased on Day 19 in pregnant heifers (P<0.05). Glutamic acid only increased in pregnant heifers on Day 19 (P<0.001). Asparagine concentrations were greater in ULF of cyclic compared to pregnant heifers on Day 7 (P<0.05) while valine concentrations were higher in pregnant heifers on Day 16 (P<0.05). Temporal changes in expression of the cationic AA transporters SLC7A1 SLC7A4 and SLC7A6 occurred in the endometrium during the estrous cycle/early pregnancy coordinate with changes in conceptus expression of SLC7A4, SLC7A2 and SLC7A1 (P<0.05). Only one acidic AA transporter (SLC1A5) increased in the endometrium while conceptus expression of SLC1A4 increased (P<0.05). The neutral AA transporters SLC38A2 and SLC7A5 increased in the endometrium in a temporal manner while conceptus expression of SLC38A7, SLC43A2, SLC38A11 and SLC7A8 also increased (P<0.05). P4 modified the expression of SLC1A1, -1A4, -1A5, -38A2, -38A4, -38A7, -43A2, -6A14, -7A1, -7A5 and -7A7 in the endometrium. Results demonstrate that temporal changes in AA in the ULF reflect changes in transporter expression in the endometrium and conceptus during early pregnancy in cattle, some of which are modified by P4.