Functional role of arginine during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. I. Consequences of loss of function of arginine transporter SLC7A1 mRNA in ovine conceptus trophectoderm.
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Arginine, the common substrate for production of nitric oxide (NO) and polyamines in mammals, increases in the uterine lumen during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. However, functional roles of arginine within the uterine lumen for conceptus (embryo and extraembryonic membranes) development have not been elucidated in vivo. To assess roles of arginine in reproductive tissue for survival and development of the conceptus, we conducted an in vivo morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (MAO)-mediated knockdown of SLC7A1 mRNA, the arginine transporter in ovine conceptus trophectoderm (Tr). Translational knockdown of SLC7A1 mRNA resulted in retarded conceptus development and abnormal function compared to MAO control. Use of MAO-SLC7A1 knockdown in conceptuses decreased arginine transport (73%, P<0.01), the abundance of ornithine decarboxylase, and nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) proteins, arginine-related amino acids [citrulline (76%, P<0.05) and ornithine (40%, P<0.05)], and polyamines, which likely accounts for their retarded development. Also, no alternative arginine precursors (glutamine and glutamate), isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS1 and NOS2), or alternative pathways for polyamine biosynthesis via arginine decarboxylase and agmatinase were activated to rescue conceptus development. Collectively, SLC7A1 is the key transporter of arginine by conceptus Tr, and arginine is essential for conceptus survival and development.-Wang, X., Frank, J. W., Little, D. R., Dunlap, K. A., Satterfield, M. C., Burghardt, R. C., Hansen, T. R., Wu, G., and Bazer, F. W. Functional role of arginine during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. I. Consequences of loss of function of arginine transporter SLC7A1 mRNA in ovine conceptus trophectoderm.