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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interrelationships among conceptus size, uterine protein secretion, fetal erythropoiesis, and uterine capacity.

The interrelationships among d-11 conceptus size, d-105 placental weight, placental efficiency (the ability of the placenta to support fetal growth and development), fetal erythropoiesis, and uterine capacity were examined in 1/2 Meishan, 1/2 White crossbred gilts that were unilaterally ovariohysterectomized at 90 to 100 d of age. In Exp. 1, gilts were mated after at least one normal estrous cycle and then slaughtered at 105 d of gestation and number of fetuses and CL, placental weights, fetal weights, hematocrits, fetal plasma iron, and fetal plasma folate were measured. In Exp. 2, gilts were mated and plasma progesterone was measured on d 2 and 3 of gestation. On d 11, the length of the remaining uterine horn was recorded and the uterine horn was flushed with minimal essential medium. Number of CL, conceptus number, conceptus diameters, and total uterine flush retinol-binding protein (tRBP), acid phosphatase (tAP), and folate-binding protein (tFBP) were measured. Gilts were mated again and slaughtered at 105 d of pregnancy and the same traits measured in Group 1 were recorded. Plasma progesterone concentrations on d 2 and 3 were correlated with average conceptus diameter on d 11 (r = 0.60, P < 0.01, for each day). In contrast, tRBP (r = 0.49, P < 0.01), tAP (r = 0.53, P < 0.01), and tFBP (r = 0.51, P < 0.01) in uterine flushings on d 11 were only correlated with d-3 plasma progesterone concentrations. No correlations between d-11 average conceptus diameter or d-11 uterine length with d-105 uterine capacity were observed. Uterine capacity was negatively correlated with placental weight, fetal weight and fetal hematocrit (r = -0.36, P < 0.01; r = -0.44, P < 0.01; r = -0.32, P < 0.01; respectively). Hematocrits were correlated with fetal plasma iron (r = 0.50, P < 0.01) and folates (r = 0.44, P < 0.01). Hematocrit, plasma iron, and plasma folate were each correlated with residual fetal weights after adjusting for placental weight (a measure of placental efficiency), and accounted for 11% of the variation in this trait. These data suggest that conceptus diameter and uterine protein secretion on d 11 may be influenced by the onset of progesterone secretion by the CL, but do not support an influence of conceptus growth during early pregnancy on uterine capacity. These results also suggest that reducing placental and fetal weights will likely result in increased uterine capacity.[1]


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