Interferon-tau and fertility in ruminants
Establishment of pregnancy in domestic ruminants includes pregnancy recognition signalling by the conceptus, implantation and placentation. Despite the high fertilisation success rate in ruminants, a significant amount of embryo loss occurs, primarily during early gestation. Interferon-tau (IFNT), a type I interferon that is exclusively secreted by the cells of the trophectoderm of the ruminant conceptus, has been recognised as the primary agent for maternal recognition of pregnancy in ruminants. It produces its antiluteolytic effect on the corpus luteum by inhibiting the expression of oxytocin receptors in the uterine epithelial cells, which prevents pulsatile, luteolytic secretion of prostaglandin F2α by the uterine endometrium. While the importance of IFNT in maternal recognition of pregnancy and prevention of luteolysis in ruminants is unequivocal, important questions, for example, relating to the threshold level of IFNT required for pregnancy maintenance, remain unanswered. This paper reviews data linking IFNT with measures of fertility in ruminants.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science