Kinetics of placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8) in equine placenta during pregnancy and placentitis

Hossam El-Sheikh Ali, Kirsten Scoggin, Yatta Linhares Boakari, Pouya Dini, Shavahn Loux, Carleigh Fedorka, Alejandro Esteller-Vico, Barry Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8) is one of the placenta-regulatory genes which is highly conserved among eutherian mammals. However, little is known about its expression in equine placenta (chorioallantois; CA and endometrium; EN) during normal and abnormal pregnancy. Therefore, the current study was designed to 1) elucidate the expression of PLAC8 in equine embryonic membranes during the preimplantation period, 2) characterize the expression profile of PLAC8 in equine CA (45d, 4mo, 6mo, 10 mo, 11 mo and postpartum) and EN (14d, 4mo, 6mo, 10 mo, and 11 mo) obtained from pregnant mares (n = 4/timepoint), as well as, d14 non-pregnant EN (n = 4), and 3) investigate the expression profile of PLAC8 in ascending placentitis (n = 5) and in nocardioform placentitis (n = 6) in comparison to normal CA. In the preimplantation period, PLAC8 mRNA was not abundant in the trophectoderm of d8 equine embryo and d14 conceptus, while it was abundant later in d 30, 31, 34, and 45 chorion. In normal pregnancy, PLAC8 mRNA expression in CA at 45 d gradually decline to reach nadir at 6mo before gradually increasing to its peak at 11mo and postpartum CA. The mRNA expression of PLAC8 was significantly upregulated in CA from mares with ascending and nocardioform placentitis compared to control mares. Immunohistochemistry revealed that PLAC8 is localized in equine chorionic epithelium and immune cells. Our results revealed that PLAC8 expression in equine chorion is dynamic during pregnancy and is regulated in an implantation-dependent manner. Moreover, PLAC8 is implicated in the immune response in CA during equine ascending placentitis and nocardioform placentitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Albert G. Clay Endowment of the University of Kentucky .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Placenta
  • Placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8)
  • Placentitis
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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