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Hooshmandabbasi, Reyhaneh; Zerbe, Holm; Bauersachs, Stefan; Sousa, Noelita M. de; Boos, Alois and Klisch, Karl (2018): Pregnancy-associated glycoproteins in cows with retained fetal membranes. In: Theriogenology, Vol. 105: pp. 158-163

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In cows, retained fetal membranes (RFM) are a major problem in reproduction. The timely detachment of fetal membranes after parturition requires well coordinated maturation processes in the placenta. One feature of placental maturation in cows is a prepartal decline in the number of binucleate trophoblast giant cells (BNC) in the fetal chorion. Pregnancy associated glycoproteins (PAGs) are a group of proteins, produced by trophoblast cells in artiodactyls. We studied aspects of PAG expression in cows with and without RFM. The numerical density of PAG-positive immunostained BNC in placentomal samples, collected from cows with normal expulsion of fetal membranes (n = 20) and cows with RFM (n = 20) was determined. The number of PAG-positive BNCs was significantly higher in cows with RFM, compared to controls. The concentration of PAGs in maternal serum in prepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum cows was measured (RFM n = 20;controls n = 68). No significant differences between RFM and controls were detected. Microarray analysis of placental PAG mRNA expression was done with two types of microarrays: Affymetrix (RFM n = 20;controls n = 20) and Agilent (RFM n = 8;controls n = 8). Both microarrays showed a significantly higher expression of modern PAGs in RFM cases. Our results show that the expression of modern PAGs, which are produced by BNCs and are secreted into the maternal organism, are differentially expressed in RFM. Although the concentration in peripheral maternal blood did not differ between RFM and controls, the local concentration in the placenta is likely to be higher in RFM cases. This suggests the possibility of local regulatory roles of PAG in the release of bovine fetal membranes.

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