Pig conceptuses secrete interferon gamma to recruit T cells to the endometrium during the peri-implantation period. Academic Article uri icon


  • The emerging paradigm in the immunology of pregnancy is that implantation of conceptuses does not progress in an immunologically suppressed environment. Rather, the endometrium undergoes a controlled inflammatory response during implantation as trophectoderm of elongating and implanting pig conceptuses secrete the pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon gamma (IFNG). Results of this study with pigs revealed: (1) accumulation of immune cells and apoptosis of stromal cells within the endometrium at sites of implantation during the period of IFNG secretion by conceptuses; (2) accumulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive T cells within the endometrium at sites of implantation; (3) significant increases in expression of T cell co-signaling receptors including programmed cell death 1 (PDCD1), CD28, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), and inducible T cell co-stimulator (ICOS), as well as chemokines CXCL9, 10, and 11 within the endometrium at sites of implantation; (4) significant increases in T cell co-signaling receptors, PDCD1 and ICOS, and chemokine CXCL9 in the endometrium of cyclic gilts infused with IFNG; and (5) identification of CD4+ (22.59%) as the major T cell subpopulation, with minor subpopulations of CD8+ (1.38%), CD4+CD25+ (1.08%), and CD4+CD8+ (0.61%) T cells within the endometrium at sites of implantation. Our results provide new insights into the immunology of implantation to suggest that trophectoderm cells of pigs secrete IFNG to recruit various subpopulations of T cells to the endometrium to contribute to a controlled inflammatory environment that supports the active breakdown and restructuring of the endometrium in response to implantation of the conceptus.

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • McLendon, B. A., Seo, H., Kramer, A. C., Burghardt, R. C., Bazer, F. W., & Johnson, G. A.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • McLendon, Bryan A||Seo, Heewon||Kramer, Avery C||Burghardt, Robert C||Bazer, Fuller W||Johnson, Greg A

publication date

  • October 2020