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Streyl, Dominik; Kenngott, Rebecca; Herbach, Nadja; Wanke, Rüdiger; Blum, Helmut; Sinowatz, Fred; Wolf, Eckhard; Zerbe, Holm; Bauersachs, Stefan (2012): Gene expression profiling of bovine peripartal placentomes: detection of molecular pathways potentially involved in the release of foetal membranes. In: Reproduction, Vol. 143, No. 1: pp. 85-105


The mechanisms underlying detachment of foetal membranes after birth in cows are still unclear. To address this problem in a systematic manner, we performed the first holistic transcriptome study of bovine placentomes antepartum (AP; n=4 cows) and intrapartum (IP; n=4 cows) using Affymetrix GeneChip Bovine Genome Arrays. Three placentomes were extracted from each cow, and tissue samples from the contact zones of the placentomes (foeto-maternal units) were recovered by systematic random sampling and processed for RNA extraction and for stereological quantification of cellular composition. Statistical analysis of microarray data (false discovery rate 1%) revealed 759 mRNAs with at least twofold higher levels in the samples of the AP group, whereas 514 mRNAs showed higher levels in the IP group. The differentially expressed genes were classified according to biological processes and molecular functions using the Functional Annotation Clustering tool of the DAVID Bioinformatics Resources. Genes with higher mRNA levels in the AP group were nearly completely related to mitotic cell cycle and tissue differentiation. During parturition, a complete shift occurred because the genes with higher mRNA levels in IP were nearly all related to three different physiological processes/complexes: i) apoptosis, ii) degradation of extra cellular matrix and iii) innate immune response, which play a fundamental role in placental detachment. These results are an excellent basis for future studies investigating the molecular basis of retained foetal membranes.