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Preattachment embryos of domestic animals: insights into development and paracrine secretions

This review summarizes the acquired knowledge in the bovine, ovine, porcine and equine species, takes stock of the cellular and molecular processes involved in the essentially secretory communication of the embryonic structures with each other and with the endometrium. The quality of this communication determines the outcome of gestation.

Vache et son veau quelques heures après le vélage (Ferme expérimentale, Grignon).. © INRA, CAIN Anne-Hélène
Updated on 04/16/2018
Published on 04/13/2018

In mammalian species, endometrial receptivity is driven by maternal factors independently of embryo signals. When pregnancy initiates, paracrine secretions of the preattachment embryo are essential both for maternal recognition and endometrium preparation for implantation and for coordinating development of embryonic and extraembryonic tissues of the conceptus.

This review mainly focuses on domestic large animal species.
We first illustrate the major steps of preattachment embryo development, including elongation in bovine, ovine, porcine, and equine species.
We next highlight conceptus secretions that are involved in the communication between extraembryonic and embryonic tissues, as well as between the conceptus and the endometrium.
Finally, we introduce experimental data demonstrating the intimate connection between conceptus secretions and endometrial activity and how adverse events perturbing this interplay may affect the progression of implantation that will subsequently impact pregnancy outcome, postnatal health, and expression of production traits in livestock offspring.

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Associated Division(s):
Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems
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Sandra, O.; Charpigny, G.; Galio, L.; Hue, I., 2017. Preattachment embryos of domestic animals: Insights into development and paracrine secretions. In: Lewin, H.A.; Roberts, R.M.; Tteridge Kj, J.O.R.; Fertility, V.P., eds. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, Vol 5. Palo Alto: Annual Reviews, 205-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-animal-022516-022900