Paracrine and endocrine actions of interferon tau (IFNT)
This review focuses on the paracrine and endocrine actions of interferon tau (IFNT) during pregnancy recognition and establishment in ruminants. Pregnancy recognition involves the suppression of the endometrial luteolytic mechanism by the conceptus to maintain progesterone production by the corpus luteum (CL). The paracrine antiluteolytic effects of conceptus-derived IFNT inhibit upregulation of oxytocin receptors in the endometrial epithelia of the uterus, thereby preventing the production of luteolytic prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2α) pulses. In the endometrium, IFNT induces or upregulates a large number of classical IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and regulates expression of many other genes in a cell-specific manner that are likely important for conceptus elongation, implantation and establishment of pregnancy. Further, IFNT has endocrine effects on extrauterine cells and tissues. In sheep, IFNT induces luteal resistance to PGF2α, thereby ensuring survival of the CL for maintenance of pregnancy. The ISGs induced in circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells by IFNT may also be useful as an indicator of pregnancy status in cattle. An increased knowledge of IFNT and ISGs is important to improve the reproductive efficiency in ruminants.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science