The Effect of Cysteine-Rich Secretory Protein-3 and Lactoferrin on Endometrial Cytokine mRNA Expression After Breeding in the Horse

Carleigh E. Fedorka, Elizabeth M. Woodward, Kirsten E. Scoggin, Alejandro Esteller-Vico, Edward L. Squires, Barry A. Ball, Mats H.T. Troedsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The equine uterus undergoes a transient innate immune response after breeding, also known as mating-induced endometritis. The deposition of spermatozoa triggers the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which results in the migration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) into the endometrium and the uterine lumen. Select seminal plasma proteins, specifically cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP-3) and lactoferrin, have been shown to affect the activity of the PMNs, either by suppressing (CRISP-3) or promoting (lactoferrin) the phagocytosis of spermatozoa based on their viability in vitro. Conjointly, many components of inseminate, including seminal plasma, bacteria, and spermatozoa itself, have shown to have an effect on the expression of endometrial cytokines after breeding. The objective of this study was to determine if select proteins affect the mRNA expression of endometrial cytokines after insemination. Six mares were bred during four consecutive estrous cycles with treatments in randomized order of: 1mg/mL CRISP-3, 150 ug/mL lactoferrin, seminal plasma, or Lactated Ringer's Solution (LRS) to a total volume of 10 mL combined with 1×109 progressively motile spermatozoa pooled from two stallions. Six hours after treatment, an endometrial biopsy was obtained for qPCR analysis. No treatment effects were found for the mRNA expression of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNFα, and IFNγ, while lactoferrin significantly suppressed the mRNA expression of IL-1RN when compared to LRS. In conclusion, the seminal plasma proteins CRISP-3 and lactoferrin have minimal effect on the expression of select endometrial cytokines at 6 hours post breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142.e1
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • CRISP-3
  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Inflammation
  • Lactoferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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