Galectinology of Equine Pregnancy

Carleigh E. Fedorka, Hossam El Sheikh Ali, Mats H.T. Troedsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Galectins are a family of proteins that bind to glycans, acting in a cytokine-like manner throughout the body. In the majority of mammalians, galectins have been found to be involved in pregnancy maintenance, but few studies have evaluated this in the horse. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the expression of various galectins in pregnant and nonpregnant mares. Next-generation RNA sequencing was performed on the chorioallantois and endometrium of healthy pregnant mares at 120, 180, 300, and 330 days of gestation (n = 4/stage), as well as 45-day chorioallantois (n = 4), postpartum chorioallantois (n = 3), and diestrus endometrium (n = 3). In the endometrium, galectin-1 and galectin-13 were found in the highest expression in the nonpregnant mare, with decreasing levels of expression noted throughout gestation. In contrast, galectin-8 and galectin-12 were found to be the lowest in the nonpregnant mare and reached the highest expression levels in mid-gestation before declining as parturition neared. In the chorioallantois, galectin-1, galectin-3, and galectin-3BP were found to have heightened expression levels at 45 d of gestation, with lesser expression levels noted throughout gestation. In contrast, galectin-9, galectin-12, and galectin-13 experienced the highest expression levels in the late-term chorioallantois (300 d/330 d), with lesser expression noted in early- to mid-gestation. Of note, galectin-1, galectin-3BP, galectin-9, galectin-12, and galectin-13 all experienced the lowest expression levels in the postpartum placenta, with heightened expression noted during gestation. In conclusion, galectins appear to be involved in equine pregnancy, and this is dependent on both the tissue within the feto-maternal interface and the specific galectin involved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • chorioallantois
  • endometrium
  • equine
  • galectin
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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