Additive effects among uterine paracrine factors in promoting bovine trophoblast cell proliferation
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Several uterine-derived paracrine factors have been implicated as critical regulators of conceptus development in cattle, but it remains unclear how these factors work together to establish and maintain pregnancies. The primary objectives of this work were to establish if cooperative interactions between epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) promote bovine trophoblast cell proliferation, and to decipher the intracellular signaling mechanisms employed by these growth factors to regulate cell proliferation. Pilot studies established effective concentrations for each growth factor on a bovine trophoblast cell line (CT1). The first set of studies examined how each factor worked individually or in conjunction with each other to impact CT1 proliferation. Mitotic index (percentage of EdU-positive nuclei after a 45 min challenge) was increased (P<0.05) by supplementation with 10 ng/ml EGF, 10 ng/ml FGF2, or 50 ng/ml IGF1 when compared with non-treated controls. In addition, a greater increase (P<0.05) was detected when all three factors were supplemented together. A follow-up study determined that supplementation of any two growth factors could not replicate the cooperative effect noted when all three factors were provided. A second set of studies was undertaken to examine how mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT (PI3K/AKT) signaling systems mediate the independent and cooperative effects of these paracrine factors. Both EGF and IGF1 transiently activated mitogen-activated protein kinase3/1 (MAPK3/1) in CT1 cells as determined by Western Blot analysis. By contrast, FGF2 did not affect MAPK3/1 phosphorylation status, but increased AKT phosphorylation status. Neither EGF nor IGF1 impacted AKT activity. Supplementation with a pharmacological inhibitor of MAPK3/1 (PD98059) prevented EGF-, IGF1-, and FGF2-dependent increases in CT1 cell proliferation. This inhibitor also completely abolished the increases in cell proliferation observed when all three factors were supplemented together. Supplementation with a pharmacological inhibitor of AKT (Wortmannin) reduced FGF2-stimulated CT1 proliferation, but did not impact EGF- and IGF1 effects. The AKT inhibitor partially attenuated the cooperative effects of all three factors on CT1 cell proliferation. A final study examined how the combination of EGF, FGF2, and IGF1 affect bovine embryo development. In vitro produced bovine blastocysts were cultured either with the combination of growth factors or vehicle only from day 8 to day 12 post-in vitro fertilization (IVF). The combination of EGF, FGF2, and IGF1 increased (P<0.05) the percentage of hatched blastocysts and outgrowth formation versus controls. Increased (P<0.05) diameters were detected in blastocysts treated with the combination of three growth factors on day 12 post-IVF when compared to controls. Treatment with the combination of EGF, FGF2, and also IGF1 increased (P<0.05) the change of diameter from day 8 to 12 post-IVF. In summary, these observations provide evidence that cooperative interactions of uterine-derived factors promote trophoblast proliferation and conceptus development in ways that may promote the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in cattle. The mechanisms utilized for these activities remain unresolved, but MAPK3/1 and PI3K/AKT signaling systems appear to play integral roles in some of these processes.
- Masters Theses