Bovidae Cattle Sheep Goat And Their Relatives

In these species, the trophectoderm (outer) cells of the conceptus begin to produce an antiluteolytic protein factor called interferon-tau (IFN-t) at the blastocyst stage of development. Synthesis becomes maximal as the conceptus elongates in the period immediately preceding attachment of trophectoderm to the uterine wall.[5]

The progenitor IFN-t gene duplicated from an IFN-o gene approximately 36 million years ago (MYA). As a consequence, this gene family is unique to the Ruminantia suborder.[9] IFN -t is expressed prior to the release of luteolytic pulses of PGF2a from the endometrium[10] and abrogates PGF2a release by downregulating transcription of the estrogen and oxytocin receptor genes in the uterine endometrium.[4,6,8,10] IFN -t may simultaneously promote production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which has a luteotrophic rather than luteolytic action on the CL and exerts a local immunosuppressive action at the maternal conceptus interface.[5]

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