[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ovulation rate (OR) is an important component of litter size, but mutation(s) in gene(s) underlying OR QTL have yet to be identified in pigs. Markers within an OR QTL on SSC3 were genotyped in three white composite lines selected for ten generations for increased OR or uterine capacity (UC), with one line being an unselected control. Numbers of corpora lutea (CL) and UC (number of fully formed fetuses) were collected at approximately 105 days of gestation, as well as ovary weight (OW), uterine length (UL) and uterine weight (UW) measurements at 160 d of age in generation 12 and 13 females from all three lines. Six microsatellites and ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; 0-42 cM) were genotyped in pigs from all lines of generations 11 through 13. The allele frequencies of 24269.1, SW2429, 7907.2 and 7637.2 were different (P < 0.01) in the OR line compared to the control line. A significant (P < 0.05) association of CL with 24269.1 (additive effect 0.65 ± 0.32) was detected, and additive genotypic effects approached significance for markers at 28 through 35 cM (16963.2, 27514.1 and SWR1637). Haplotyping of 7637.2 and 16963.2 (31 through 32 cM) identified a significant additive association of haplotype 1 with CL (-0.62 ± 0.30). These markers were also associated with OW (24296.1 and SWR1637), UL (16963.2, 27514.1 and haplotypes of 7637.2/16963.2) and UW (haplotypes of 7637.2/16963.2). This study verifies an OR QTL on SSC3. However, based on the data, it was concluded that there may be two genes, at 13 through 18 cM and 28 through 35 cM, controlling OR on SSC3p.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sow productivity has a significant economic impact on the swine industry and is influenced by several factors, including preweaning piglet mortality. In Western breeds, low birth weight piglets exhibit the greatest susceptibility to preweaning mortality. In contrast, Meishan (MS) piglets have decreased birth weights but lower preweaning mortality rates, suggesting that birth weight is not the sole component of preweaning survival. The objective of the current study was to determine the contributions of the maternal and piglet breed and their interactions on piglet growth and blood components pertaining to survivability during lactation following reciprocal embryo transfer between MS and White crossbred (WC) gilts. Twenty-five successful pregnancies were produced by embryo transfer in 2 farrowing seasons that represented all maternal and piglet breed combinations; MS×MS (n=4 litters), MS×WC (n=7 litters), WC×MS (n=7 litters), and WC×WC (n=7 litters). At Day 1, 10, and weaning (average weaning age=18 days), piglets (n=147, 97, and 94, respectively at Day 1, 10, and weaning) were weighed and blood samples were taken. Hematocrit, hemoglobin, glucose, nitrogen, nonesterified fatty acids, albumin, and cortisol were measured in all blood samples. All data were analysed for ANOVA using mixed model procedures. Piglet weights were greater (P<0.001) throughout lactation in piglets from WC dams regardless of piglet breed. As a result, average daily gains from Days 1 to 10 and weaning were greater (P<0.05) in piglets from WC dams. There were significant (P<0.001) maternal×piglet×day interactions for hematocrit and hemoglobin levels in which levels were greatest at Day 1 in MS piglets from WC dams and at Day 10 in MS piglets from MS dams but decreased in WC piglets from WC dams at Day 1. Glucose was greater (P<0.05) at Day 1 in piglets from WC dams regardless of piglet breed but was greater (P<0.05) at weaning in WC piglets regardless of maternal breed. Nitrogen was similar at Day 1 for all maternal and piglet breed combinations, but at Day 10 and weaning, nitrogen levels were greater (P<0.001) in MS piglets regardless of maternal breed. Nonesterified fatty acid was greater throughout lactation in piglets from MS dams irrespective of piglet breed. Albumin was greater (P<0.05) in MS piglets throughout lactation regardless of maternal breed. Cortisol was not different between the maternal and piglet breed combinations throughout lactation, but cortisol was greater (P<0.001) at Day 1 compared with Day 10 and weaning. This study demonstrated that piglet growth during lactation was influenced more by maternal breed in favor of WC dams, which supports previous crossbreeding studies. However, blood components pertaining to survivability displayed complex interactions between the piglet and maternal breed, which may signify possible mechanisms for improved preweaning survivability of MS pigs.
Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2011; 23(1):177-178. DOI:10.1071/RDv23n1Ab148 · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selection for 11 generations in swine for ovulation rate (OR) or uterine capacity (UC) resulted in 19.6% greater prenatal survival at term in UC compared with OR. Our objective was to characterize the number of fetuses throughout gestation in each line, including an unselected control (CO) line. Five hundred ninety-three gilts produced over 4 farrowing seasons were subjected to unilateral-hysterectomy-ovariectomy at 160 d of age and mated within line at 280 d of age. Gilts were assigned within sire family to be slaughtered (+/- 2 d) at d 25, 45, 65, 85, or 105 of gestation. Ovulation rate and number of live and dead fetuses were recorded for each pregnant gilt (n = 402). Fetal and placental weights were also recorded. Ovulation rate of OR line gilts (18.0 +/- 0.3 ova) exceeded (P < 0.001) CO and UC lines (15.0 +/- 0.3 and 14.0 +/- 0.3 ova, respectively). Line and gestational age interacted to affect number of live fetuses (P < 0.001). Least squares means for CO were 10.1, 8.3, 7.2, 6.7, and 7.3 live fetuses for d 25, 45, 65, 85, and 105, respectively (average SE = 0.46 fetuses). Corresponding means for OR were 13.4, 8.3, 7.9, 6.5, and 6.7 live fetuses, respectively (average SE = 0.44 fetuses). Means for UC were 10.2, 9.0, 8.5, 7.5, and 8.0 live fetuses, respectively (average SE = 0.47 fetuses). In each line, number of live fetuses at d 25 was approximately 72% of ovulation rate. Mortality to d 45 was greatest in OR, intermediate in CO, and least in UC. Reductions in live fetuses continued to occur from d 45 to 105, but line differences at d 45 were essentially maintained to d 105. Number of live fetuses in gilts at d 114 was estimated from each of the survival curves and predicted values of 7.0, 5.9, and 7.8 per uterine horn for CO, OR, and UC lines, respectively. Selection for uterine capacity improved fetal survival primarily during the time period between d 25 and 45. Relative growth rate coefficients throughout gestation for placental tissue indicated a change in rank of the line means, implicating a relative later growth pattern of placental tissue in the UC line.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To gain a better understanding of biochemical mechanisms of conceptus adhesion to the maternal endometrium in ruminant ungulates, the present study was performed to clarify roles of chemokines and extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the regulation of ovine blastocyst attachment to the endometrium. In addition to the chemokine, interferon-gamma inducible protein 10 kDa (IP-10, CXCL10), the chemokine receptor, CXCR3, also recognizes two other chemokines; monokine induced by IFN-gamma (MIG, CXCL9) and IFN-inducible T cell alpha chemoattractant (I-TAC, CXCL11). Similar to CXCL10, CXCL9, and CXCL11 were expressed in the uterus during the peri-implantation period, and CXCL9 mRNA expression was stimulated in endometrial explants from day 14 cyclic ewes by the addition of IFN-tau or IFN-gamma. Without ECM components, conceptus cell adhesion was low on day 14 of gestation and exhibited a 2.5-fold increase on day 17; adhesiveness on day 20 was 1/10 of that on day 14. Among various ECM components examined, trophoblast adhesion was greatest when fibronectin was used. Although day 14 conceptuses did not show much adhesive activity to fibronectin, day 17 trophoblast, and day 20 chorionic membrane exhibited 2.3-fold and 50-fold increase, respectively, which was enhanced by treatment with CXCL9 or CXCL10. These results indicate that through endometrial fibronectin and chemokines, ovine conceptus cells gain the ability to attach to the endometrium during pre-implantation period; however, elucidation of molecular mechanisms by which the conceptus acquires the adhesive ability during this time period awaits further investigation.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 07/2006; 73(7):850-8. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20496 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to evaluate the influence of maternal cortisol on early conceptus development in pigs (Sus scrofa). The corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor metyrapone was injected daily during days 14-19 of pregnancy, without (n = 6) and with commensurate administration of cortisol (n = 6). Blood samples were taken via an indwelling jugular catheter on days 14 and 18, and conceptuses were harvested during surgery on day 20. Compared with vehicle-injected control dams (n = 7) plasma cortisol and aldosterone concentrations were decreased (P < 0.01) by 52 and 29%, respectively, by metyrapone treatment. Cortisol administration reversed decreases in plasma cortisol by day 18. There were no treatment-associated effects on conceptus survival or size. Nor were there treatment-associated effects on allantoic fluid volume or content. Trophodermal glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression decreased by 34% (P < 0.05) in metyrapone-treated pigs, and was not further influenced by concomitant administration of cortisol, thereby suggesting an influence of aldosterone on GR mRNA expression. Also, when all pigs were considered, there were treatment-independent second-order polynomial regressions (P < 0.05) between maternal plasma cortisol concentrations and embryonic weight, allantoic size and allantoic glucose concentrations, and between plasma aldosterone concentrations and trophodermal GR mRNA expression. Such biphasic corticosteroid concentration versus tissue parameter curves are noteworthy, but difficult to interpret validly. They may suggest that an appropriate corticosteroid environment is necessary for optimal porcine embryonic development during this stage of gestation, but cannot overshadow the absence of treatment effects on the porcine embryonic measures evaluated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of ovine interferon-tau (oIFNtau), a factor essential for the process of maternal recognition of pregnancy in ruminant ungulates, is restricted to the trophoblast. However, the molecular mechanisms by which oIFNtau expression is restricted to the trophectoderm have not been fully elucidated. The objective of this study was to determine whether oIFNtau gene transcription could be regulated through Cdx2 expression, a transcription factor implicated in the control of cell differentiation in the trophectoderm. Human choriocarcinoma JEG3 cells were co-transfected with an oIFNtau (-654 base pair, bp)-luciferase reporter (-654-oIFNtau-Luc) construct and several transcription factor expression plasmids. Compared to -654-oIFNtau-Luc alone, transcription of the -654-oIFNtau-Luc increased more than 30 times when this construct was co-transfected with Cdx2, Ets-2, and c-jun. The degree of transcription decreased to 1/4 levels when the upstream region was reduced to -551 bp, and became minimal with further deletions; this was confirmed with the use of the reporter constructs with mutated c-jun, Ets-2, and/or Cdx2 sites. In trophoblast unrelated NIH3T3 cells, which do not support IFNtau gene transcription, the oIFNtau-Luc transcription was enhanced approximately eightfold when the cells were co-transfected with the Cdx2/Ets-2 or Cdx2/Ets-2/c-jun expression plasmids. These findings were confirmed by gel-shift assays examining Cdx binding site on the oIFNtau gene's upstream region, by immunohistochemical study identifying the presence of Cdx2 in day 15 and 17 ovine conceptuses, and by Western blot detecting Cdx2 in day 17 conceptuses. Our results indicate that oIFNtau gene transcription is regulated by Cdx2, and suggest that Cdx2 could be a key molecule in determining oIFNtau gene transcription by the trophectoderm.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 05/2006; 73(5):559-67. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20457 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation of interferon-tau (IFNtau) production, a conceptus secretory protein implicated in the process of maternal recognition of pregnancy, has not been fully elucidated. Among more than 10 ovine IFNtau (oIFNtau) gene sequences characterized, approximately 75% of oIFNtau transcripts expressed in utero is derived from oIFNtau-o10 gene and amounts of transcripts from other oIFNtau genes such as oIFNtau-o8 or oIFNtau-o2 are minimal. It was hypothesized that the variation in expression levels exhibited by oIFNtau-o10 and oIFNtau-o8/-o2 genes was due to differences in the proximal promoter regions of these oIFNtau genes. To test this hypothesis, transient transfection experiments with human choriocarcinoma JEG3 cells were executed with deleted and/or mutated 5'-upstream regions of these oIFNtau genes attached to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene. Because only the Ets-2 binding site located in the oIFNtau-o10 gene appeared to differentiate the expression levels of these constructs, the 6 base pair (bp) Ets-2 sequence from the oIFNtau-o10 gene inserted into the oIFNtau-o8/-o2 gene-reporter construct was examined. The insertion of this Ets-2 binding site into the oIFNtau-o8/o2-reporter construct failed to increase the degree of transactivation. Rather than this 6 bp sequence, a 22 bp sequence of the proximal promoter region, including the Ets-2 binding site, of the oIFNtau-o10 gene was required for oIFNtau-o8/-o2-reporter transactivation. By electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), nuclear protein(s) bound to this 22 bp from the oIFNtau-o10 and oIFNtau-o8/o2 genes differed. These results suggest that the short promoter region including the Ets-2 binding site, not the Ets-2 binding region itself, may determine different levels of oIFNtau gene expressions seen in utero.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 09/2005; 72(1):7-15. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20329 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous comparisons between the cDNA and gene sequences for secreted folate binding protein (sFBP) indicated a 12-bp insertion/deletion (ins/del) polymorphism in exon 1 and a SNP that altered (Ser-Arg) the protein AA sequence. The effect of the Ser-Arg SNP on reproductive traits was examined in three groups of Meishan-White European breed crossbred gilts. The gilts for all three groups were unilaterally hysterectomized-ovariectomized (UHO) at 100 d of age. Group 1 gilts (n = 77) were mated at estrus, slaughtered at d 105 of pregnancy, and a blood sample was collected from each fetus to determine fetal hematocrit. The number of corpora lutea and fetuses and the fetal and placental weights were recorded. Group 2 gilts (n = 46) were mated, the remaining uterine horn was flushed with 20 mL of saline on d 11 of pregnancy, conceptuses were counted, and flushings were measured for total sFBP. Gilts were allowed an estrous cycle to recover, mated again at estrus, slaughtered at 105 d of gestation, and the data as described for Group 1 were collected. Groups 1 and 2 gilts were genotyped for the Ser-Arg SNP. In Group 3, gilts (n = 70) and boars (n = 30) were genotyped for the Ser-Arg SNP before mating, and like genotypes were mated. Gilts were then treated as described for Group 2. The effect of the 12-bp ins/del on reproductive traits was examined in 407 white crossbred UHO gilts from a randomly selected control line and from lines selected for ovulation rate (OR) and uterine capacity (UC). Gilts were mated and slaughtered at 105 d of age, and the numbers of corpora lutea and live fetuses, and fetal and placental weights and fetal hematocrits were recorded. The 12-bp ins/del also was evaluated in 131 intact gilts from the OR selected line. These gilts were mated at approximately 250 d of age and farrowed. The numbers of fully formed and live piglets were recorded. A significant effect (P < 0.05) of the Ser-Arg SNP was detected on the number of embryos present on d 11 of pregnancy and on UC. The sFBP 12-bp ins/del was associated with UC (P < 0.01) and the number of CL (P < 0.05) in UHO gilts, but not with litter size in intact gilts from the OR line. Results suggest that the 12-bp ins/del polymorphism could be exploited to increase litter size in swine, provided that the negative effect of the polymorphism on OR is overcome.
Journal of Animal Science 08/2005; 83(8):1860-7. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; C vs. T) that creates an extra GATA-1 site (T allele) in intron 4 of the swine erythropoietin receptor (EPOR) gene was discovered and a genotyping assay for this SNP was developed. A total of 402 gilts from lines selected either at random (control), for ovulation rate (OR) or for uterine capacity (UC) for 11 generations were unilaterally hysterectomized-ovariectomized (UHO) at 160 days of age, mated at approximately 250 days of age and slaughtered at 105 days of pregnancy. Blood samples and spleens were collected from each foetus and the numbers of corpora lutea (CL) and live foetuses, the weights of each foetus and placenta, and each foetal haematocrit were recorded. In addition, intact gilts from the OR line or from a Yorkshire, Landrace, Duroc, crossbred line (BX) were mated and farrowed. At farrowing, the numbers of fully formed and live piglets were recorded for each litter. Genomic DNA was isolated for both the UHO and intact gilts, from foetuses from the UHO gilts that were heterozygous for the EPOR SNP, and from the boars from the BX line and were then used to determine EPOR SNP genotypes. Only CC and CT gilts were observed in the control, OR and UC selected lines. Presence of the EPOR T allele was associated (P < 0.05) with increased UC in these gilts. The number of heterozygous and homozygous foetuses did not differ within UHO litters, or did EPOR genotype influence foetal haematocrit. In intact gilts from the OR line, litter size was significantly associated (P < 0.05) with EPOR SNP genotype. Finally, results from intact gilts of the BX line, in which both the gilt and the boar genotypes were known, allowed an analysis to determine the effect of the gilt and/or the foetal genotype on litter size. This analysis indicated that the predicted foetal genotype (with gilt genotype as covariate) was associated with litter size (an increase of 2.6 +/- 1.0 piglets born alive predicted for homozygous T litters compared with homozygous C litters, P < 0.01) whereas the effect of the gilt genotype (adjusted for foetal genotype) on litter size was not significant. These results indicate that the EPOR SNP is associated with UC and litter size in two distinct populations and could be useful in increasing litter size in swine that are not limited in OR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in distribution or redistribution of immune cells are required for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, but these changes during early pregnancy have been poorly understood in the ruminant ungulates. Expression of a chemokine, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-inducible protein 10 kDa (IP-10, CXCL10), was identified in the endometrium of pregnant goats. Population and/or distribution of endometrial immune cells and their cytokine productions could be regulated by IP-10 during the period of pregnancy establishment.
Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), expression of IP-10, IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-10 (IL-10), CXCR3 mRNA and leukocyte cell surface markers, CD4, CD8, CD11b and CD45 mRNA during the caprine early pregnancy was investigated. The ability of IP-10 to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) migration was demonstrated using a chemotaxis assay. Changes in migration of PBMCs' immune cell population and cytokine expressions with IP-10 stimulation were investigated using flow cytometry and RT-PCR respectively.
Levels of IP-10, IL-10, CD4 and CD11b mRNA, and the number of CD4 and CD11b positive cells in pregnant goat endometrium were higher than those of cyclic goat endometrium. Migration of PBMCs was stimulated by recombinant caprine IP-10, and the effect was significantly reduced by neutralization with the use of an anti-IP-10 antibody. In the flow cytometric and RT-PCR analyses, migrated cells stimulated by IP-10 increased the expression of IL-10 and CD11b mRNA. Furthermore, IP-10 could stimulate the expression of IL-10 mRNA from PBMCs.
Endometrial chemokine IP-10 could regulate IL-10 production by resident and possibly migrated cells expressing CD11b, probably natural killer cells, and these changes may result in immune environments of the uterus suitable for conceptus implantation in ruminants.
American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y.: 1989) 02/2005; 53(1):54-64. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0897.2004.00243.x · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During rapid development of the fetus, levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) are elevated in pregnant women. The receptor for HDL, scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), mediates selective cholesteryl ester uptake and is highly expressed in the human placenta. Because of the rapid growth of uterus during early pregnancy and differences in placentation between swine and humans, we hypothesized that SR-BI may be expressed in porcine endometrium to take up HDL cholesterol. The objectives of this study were to obtain the full coding region for porcine SR-BI, determine endometrial expression of SR-BI mRNA during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy, and map the gene. By iterative screening of a porcine expressed sequence tag library, we obtained the full coding region of SR-BI. Endometrial expression of SR-BI in White composite gilts (n = 3-4 each) was determined by Northern blotting on Days 10, 13, and 15 cyclic gilts and Days 10, 13, 15, 20, 30, and 40 pregnant gilts. In cyclic gilts, endometrial expression of SR-BI did not change between Days 10 and 13, but increased (P < 0.01) between Days 13 and 15. In pregnant gilts, endometrial expression of SR-BI increased (P < 0.01) between Days 10 and 13, remained elevated until Day 30, and decreased (P = 0.015) on Day 40. The SR-BI gene was mapped to 46.3 cM on chromosome 14. These results show that endometrial expression of SR-BI changes during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy, and suggest that SR-BI takes up HDL for endometrial development during early pregnancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implantation, a critical step for mammals in establishing pregnancy, requires successful completion of sequential events such as maternal uterine development, conceptus development and attachment, and placental formation. To reach the stage of placental formation, synchronized development of the conceptus and uterus throughout the implantation period is absolutely required. A number of factors expressed at the uterine endometrium and/or conceptus, which are associated with peri-implantation development, have been identified. In addition to a temporal and spatial expression of these factors, their roles in intra- and inter-cellular interactions make it difficult to fully understand physiological roles played during the critical period. This paper focuses on early conceptus development, maternal preparation for implantation and uterine-conceptus communication during the pre-implantation period, rather than the subsequent events such as conceptus attachment to the maternal endometrium. New aspects of pre-implantation processes are evaluated through simultaneous expressions of transcription factors as they possibly regulate the complex processes of implantation events in murine species and ruminant ungulates.
Journal of Reproduction and Development 05/2004; 50(2):155-69. DOI:10.1262/jrd.50.155 · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of ovine interferon-tau (oIFNtau) genes, essential for the maternal recognition of pregnancy in ruminant ungulates, is restricted to the trophoblast and is not detected in any other cell types or tissues. Substantial secretion of oIFNtau starts on day 12-13 of pregnancy (day 0 = day of estrus), reaches the highest on day 16-17, and then declines rapidly. Ovine IFNtau mRNA, on the other hand, reaches the highest level on day 14 of pregnancy, 2-3 days before peak production of the protein. In this study, day 14 and 17 conceptuses treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, an inhibitor of DNA methylation, were cultured in vitro and only day 17, not day 14, conceptuses resulted in upregulation of oIFNtau gene expression. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism of oIFNtau gene downregulation, the methylation status within 1 kb of the 5'-flanking region of oIFNtau-o10 gene was investigated: CpG dinucleotides of this gene in day 14 ovine conceptuses were hypomethylated compared to day 20 conceptuses or other tissues. In vitro methylation of oIFNtau-o10-reporter constructs caused suppression of reporter activity in transient transfections. Cotransfection of methyl-CpG-binding protein (MeCP2) with the reporter construct elicited further suppression of the reporter activity. In electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), patterns of shifted bands did not show much difference between methylated and unmethylated probes in distal regions, but exhibited differences in the proximal region of upstream sequences of the oIFNtau gene. These results provide evidence that changes in the degree of DNA methylation could be one of the major mechanisms leading to downregulation of the oIFNtau-o10 gene during early gestation, and possibly its silencing in nonconceptus tissues.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 04/2004; 67(4):396-405. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20002 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferon-tau (IFNtau) is a protein secreted from the embryonic trophectoderm of ruminant ungulates during peri-implantation period. This protein acts on the uterine endometrium, which indirectly maintains corpus luteum function, and is therefore considered essential for the process of maternal recognition of pregnancy. Transcriptional regulation of IFNtau genes had been examined using human choriocarcinoma cell lines, JEG-3 or JAR, however, molecular mechanisms by which cell and term specific IFNtau expression are regulated have not been elucidated. Recently, a feeder cell free-trophoblast cell line derived from Shiba-goat placenta, termed HTS-1, was established. In the present investigation, the 5'-upstream region of ovine IFNtau (oIFNtau) gene was analysed using this cell line, which would provide a more suitable system for studies of the ovine trophoblast specific gene than human choriocarcinoma cells. Variously modified 5'-upstream sequences of the oIFNtau gene fused to a luciferase reporter gene were transiently transfected into HTS-1 cells, and human JEG-3 cells were used as a control. These results and co-transfection with expression vectors revealed that Ets-2 binding site in the promoter region was important in HTS-1, whereas AP-1 that binds to the enhancer region was a major activator in JEG-3. By electrophoretic mobility shift assay, a nuclear protein from HTS-1 cells was confirmed to bind specifically to the Ets-2 site of oIFNtau promoter region. Differences in amounts of AP-1 and Ets-2 protein were demonstrated in nuclear extracts from HTS-1, JEG-3 and ovine conceptuses. Substantial differences on oIFNtau gene transcriptions found between caprine HTS-1 and human JEG-3 cells suggest that this cell line could be valuable in the elucidation of a molecular mechanism(s) by which oIFNtau gene expression is regulated in a cell specific manner.