Interferon tau (IFN-τ) is a ruminant-specific type I IFN secreted by a conceptus before its attachment to the uterus. IFN-τ induces the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) via the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR), which is composed of IFNAR1 and IFNAR2 subunits in the endometrium. However, expression patterns of IFNARs during the estrous cycle have not been reported. We hypothesized that the response to a type I IFN changes along with IFNARs and the IFN-regulatory factors (IRFs) driving transcription of IFN signal-related genes and modulating a type I IFN signal during the estrous cycle. We investigated the estrous cycle stage-dependent type I IFN induction of ISGs and expression patterns of IFN signal-related genes in bovine endometrial tissues. Endometrial tissue pieces collected from bovine uteri at each estrous stage (early, mid, and late) were cultured with or without recombinant bovine IFN-α or concentrated pregnant uterine flushing (PUF) on day 18 after confirming the presence of a conceptus. IFN-α and PUF each significantly increased the expression of ISGs in endometrial tissues. The induction levels of the typical ISGs (MX1-a and ISG15) were significantly higher at the mid stage and correlated with high expression of IRFs at the mid stage. The immunostaining of IFNARs showed strong fluorescence intensities in luminal and glandular epithelia at the early and mid stages. Collectively, these results suggest that the endometrium exhibits estrous cycle stage-dependent responsiveness to type I IFN that may be associated with the expression of IFNARs and IRFs for pregnancy recognition.
- Interferon-stimulated gene (ISG)
- Type I Interferon (IFN)
- Type I interferon receptor (IFNAR)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology