• Endometrial expression of the insulin-like growth factor system during uterine involution in the postpartum dairy cow

      Llewellyn, S.; Fitzpatrick, Richard; Kenny, David A.; Patton, Joe; Wathes, D. C. (Elsevier, 2008-05-31)
      Rapid uterine involution in the postpartum period of dairy cows is important to achieve a short interval to conception. Expression patterns for members of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family were determined by in situ hybridisation at day 14±0.4 postpartum (n=12 cows) to investigate a potential role for IGFs in modulating uterine involution. Expression in each uterine tissue region was measured as optical density units and data were analysed according to region and horn. IGF-I mRNA was localized to the sub-epithelial stroma (SES) of inter-caruncular and caruncular endometrium. Both IGF-II and IGF-1R expression was detected in the deep endometrial stroma (DES), the caruncular stroma and myometrium. IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-6 mRNAs were all localised to the SES of inter-caruncular and caruncular uterine tissue, and in the DES and caruncular stroma, with IGFBP-4 mRNA additionally expressed in myometrium. IGFBP-3 mRNA was only detectable in luminal epithelium. IGFBP-5 mRNA was found in myometrium, inter-caruncular and caruncular SES and caruncular stroma. These data support a role for IGF-I and IGF-II in the extensive tissue remodelling and repair which the postpartum uterus undergoes to return to its non-pregnant state. The differential expression of binding proteins between tissues (IGFBP-3 in epithelium, IGFBP-2, -4, -5 and -6 in stroma and IGFBP-4 and -5 in myometrium) suggest tight control of IGF activity within each compartment. Differential expression of many members of the IGF family between the significantly larger previously gravid horn and the previously non-gravid horn may relate to differences in their rate of tissue remodelling.