Retinol-binding protein: a major secretory product of the pig conceptus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pig conceptuses and endometrial explants recovered from gilts between Days 10 and 15 of pregnancy were cultured in leucine-deficient or methionine-deficient medium supplemented with 3H-leucine or 35S-methionine, respectively, for 30 h. Conceptus and endometrial tissues from Day 15 of pregnancy were fixed in Bouin's fixative for immunocytochemistry and light microscopy. Conceptus culture medium from Day 15 of pregnancy was pooled, dialyzed, and fractionated by anion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. A family of 3-5 low molecular weight (Mr) acidic (Mr = 19,000-22,000; pI = 5.6-6.5) 3H-leu-labeled proteins were isolated and identified by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), electroblotting, and fluorography. The two major proteins (pCSP-1 and pCSP-2) were excised from a polyvinylidene difluoride transfer membrane, and NH2-terminal amino acids were sequenced. One peptide was sequenced through 33 amino acids and the second, which shared 100% homology, was sequenced through 22 amino acids. Analysis of the larger sequence indicated that it shared 93.9% and 90.9% homology with the first 33 amino acids of human and rabbit plasma retinol-binding protein (RBP), respectively. Analyses of culture medium from pig conceptus incubations by 2D-PAGE and immunoprecipitation with rabbit anti-human RBP serum indicated that immunoreactive RBP was produced between Days 10 and 15 of pregnancy and was present in Day 30 allantoic fluid. Western blotting of enriched fractions of Day 15 conceptus RBP followed by immunostaining indicated that five isoforms of radiolabeled RBP were present. Immunoreactive RBP was detected in trophectoderm and yolk sac of conceptuses and endometrial surface and glandular epithelium at Day 15 of pregnancy. Results from this study demonstrate that pig conceptuses secrete RBP prior to onset of conceptus elongation and throughout the peri-implantation period, which suggests that RBP and associated retinoids influence conceptus development.

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

author list (cited authors)

  • Harney, J. P., Mirando, M. A., Smith, L. C., & Bazer, F. W.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Harney, JP||Mirando, MA||Smith, LC||Bazer, FW

publication date

  • March 1990