2017 Volume 63 Issue 4 Pages 425-434
Recent observations suggest that the bovine uterus starts to react to the early embryo immediately after its arrival from the oviduct. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the early developing embryo on the immune-related gene profile in bovine uterine epithelial cells (BUECs) in vitro, and to further examine the impact of conditioned media (CM), either from embryo-BUEC co-culture or embryo culture alone, on gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). First, BUECs were co-cultured with morulae (n = 10) for D5-D9 (D0 = IVF), and gene expression in BUECs was analyzed. Subsequently, PBMCs were cultured in CM from embryo-BUEC co-culture or D5-D9 embryo culture, and gene expression was evaluated. In BUECs, the embryo induced interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs: ISG15, OAS1, and MX2), a key factor for IFN-signaling (STAT1), and type-1 IFN receptors (IFNAR1 and IFNAR2), with suppression of NFkB2, NFkBIA and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFA and IL1B). The embryo also stimulated PTGES and PGE2 secretion in BUECs. In PBMCs, both CM from embryo-BUEC co-culture and embryo culture alone induced ISGs, STAT1 and TGFB1, while suppressing TNFA and IL17. Similarly, interferon tau (IFNT) at 100 pg/ml suppressed NFkB2, TNFA and IL1B in BUECs, and also stimulated TGFB1 and suppressed TNFA in PBMCs. Our findings suggest that the bovine embryo, in the first four days in the uterus (D5-D9), starts to induce an anti-inflammatory response in epithelial cells and in immune cells. IFNT is likely to act as one of the intermediators for induction of the anti-inflammatory response in the bovine uterus.