Uterine cervix as a fundamental part of the pathogenesis of pregnancy loss associated with ascending placentitis in mares

C. B. Fernandes, B. A. Ball, S. C. Loux, Y. L. Boakari, K. E. Scoggin, H. El-Sheikh Ali, B. Cogliati, A. Esteller-Vico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anatomical and molecular changes in the cervical barrier in women are a fundamental part of the pathogenesis of pregnancy loss associated with chorioamnionitis. However, there is little information regarding changes in the cervix associated with ascending infection in pregnant mares. To better characterize morphological and molecular changes in the cervix during placentitis, we examined full thickness histology and mRNA expression for a number of inflammatory and endocrine factors in the mucosa and stroma of the cervix of mares (n = 5) after experimental induction of placentitis via transcervical inoculation with Streptococcus equi ssp zooepidemicus at approximately 290d of gestation. Gestationally age-matched mares (n = 4) served as controls. Target transcripts included steroid receptors (PGR, ESR1 and 2), OXTR, prostaglandins synthases and receptors (PTGS1, PTGS2, PGES, PGFS, PTGER2 and PTGER4), cytokines (IL1b, IL6, CLCX8, IL10 and TNFα) and acute phase proteins (SAA). Histologically, a marked modification in the cervical epithelia and stroma was characterizing cervicitis. Additionally, the mRNA expression of IL1β, IL6, CXCL8, SAA and PTGS2 was greater (P < 0.05) in both mucosa and stroma of the inoculated mares; whereas TNFα, IL10 and PGES were upregulated (P < 0.05) only in the cervical mucosa. Progesterone receptor, ESR1 and PTGER4 were upregulated in the cervical stroma of placentitis mares. In conclusion, the cervical response to placentitis was characterized by an upregulation of inflammatory cytokines that was accompanied by induction of PTGS2 and PGES. Further, receptors known to be associated with relaxation of the cervix in other species (ESR1 and PTGER4) were upregulated in the cervical stroma of placentitis mares. These findings indicate that the cervix is not only a physical barrier but that it has an active role in the pathogenesis of ascending placentitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalTheriogenology
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Lincoln Memorial University Research Grant , São Paulo Research Foundation ( FAPESP 2015/00049-5 ) and the Albert G. Clay Endowment and the Clay Visiting Fellowship of the University of Kentucky .

Funding Information:
Lincoln Memorial University Research Grant, S?o Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2015/00049-5) and the Albert G. Clay Endowment and the Clay Visiting Fellowship of the University of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Cervix
  • Equids
  • Female reproductive track
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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