Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist expression in the equine endometrium during the peri-implantation period

S. Haneda, K. Nagaoka, Y. Nambo, M. Kikuchi, Y. Nakano, M. Matsui, Y. Miyake, J. N. Macleod, K. Imakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


To identify factors involved in the establishment of pregnancy in the mare, endometrium was collected from day 13 (day 0 = day of ovulation) cyclic and day 13, 19, and 25 pregnant animals. From initial cDNA subtraction studies, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN) mRNA was found as a candidate molecule expressed uniquely in the pregnant endometrium. Expression of IL-1RN mRNA was markedly increased in day 19 and 25 gravid endometrium. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that IL-1RN mRNA was localized to the glandular epithelium. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN) protein was found in the extracts of day 25 gravid endometrium and was immunochemically localized to the glandular epithelium/luminal cavity of the pregnant uterus. High concentrations of estradiol-17β (E2) were detected in day 25 conceptuses. Concentrations of E2 were higher in the gravid endometrial portion than in other endometrial regions. On the other hand, progesterone concentrations did not differ among endometrial samples analyzed. Furthermore, the expression of IL-1RN mRNA was up-regulated in endometrium culture samples treated with 10 ng/mL E2 and 10 ng/mL progesterone. In the analysis of related gene expression, increased amounts of IL-1α and IL-6 mRNA were also found in the day 25 gravid endometrium; however, these expressions in endometrial culture samples were not up-regulated by the steroid treatment. These results indicate that expression of IL-1RN in the endometrium is likely regulated by E2 and progesterone and suggest that IL-1RN regulates the degree of IL-1 signal transduction and thereby plays an important role in the establishment of equine pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by research funds from the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (18108004) to K.I. from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


  • Conceptus
  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Estradiol
  • Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN)
  • Progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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