Alterations in T cell-related transcripts at the feto-maternal interface throughout equine gestation

C. E. Fedorka, S. L. Loux, K. E. Scoggin, A. A. Adams, M. H.T. Troedsson, B. A. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: The tolerance of pregnancy by the maternal immune system is balanced between recognition and protection. In the human this is controlled by balancing helper T cell populations (Th1, Th2) in addition to immune suppression from the regulatory arm (Tregs), but this has not been evaluated in the horse. Methods: RNA sequencing was performed on chorioallantois and endometrium of mares at 120, 180, 300 and 330 days of gestation (n = 4/stage), as well as 45-day chorioallantois (n = 4) and diestrus endometrium (n = 3). Transcripts were selected for relativity to Th1, Th2, or Treg-associated. qPCR and immunohistochemistry were used to confirm the results of select differentially expressed genes. Results: In the endometrium, Th1 transcripts were highest in the diestrus mare and decreased as gestational length progressed. In contrast, Th2 transcripts were upregulated in comparison to the diestrus mare and highest in mid gestation. Treg transcripts were found increased in comparison to the diestrus mare, but decreased prepartum. In the chorioallantois no Th1 transcripts changed. The majority of Th2 transcripts increased from 45 to 300 days gestation, and then decreased prepartum. Treg-related transcripts trended down in the chorioallantois from 45 days to 120 days gestation, followed by an upregulation to 300 days and a secondary decline prepartum. Discussion: The mare experiences a complex and evolving immune profile within the tissues of the feto-maternal interface. This consists of a balance between the Th1 and Th2 response, and a dynamic Treg response that is hypothesized to regulate overall events within the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adaptive
  • Chorioallantois
  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Pregnancy
  • Th1
  • Th2
  • Treg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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