Mark Hilliard

National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

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Publications (2)6.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The objective was to analyze the proteomic composition of uterine flushes collected from beef heifers on day 7 after insemination. Estrus was synchronized in crossbred beef heifers by using a protocol with a controlled intravaginal drug releasing device. Heifers detected in standing estrus (within 24-48 h after removal of controlled intravaginal drug releasing device) were inseminated (estrus = day 0) with frozen-thawed semen from a single ejaculate of a bull with proven fertility. Heifers from which an embryo was recovered (after slaughter on day 7) were classified as either having a viable embryo (morula/blastocyst stage) or a degenerate embryo (arrested at the 2- to 16-cell stage). The overall recovery rate (viable and degenerate combined) was 64%. Global liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry proteomic analysis of the histotroph collected identified 40 high-confidence proteins present on day 7; 26 proteins in the viable group, 10 in the degenerate group, and 4 shared between both groups. Five proteins (platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase IB subunit γ [PAFAH1B3], tubulin α-1D chain, tubulin β-4A chain, cytochrome C, and dihydropyrimidinase-related protein-2) were unique or more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a viable embryo, and 1 protein (S100-A4) was more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a degenerate embryo. Of interest, PAFAH1B3, detected only in histotroph from the group yielding viable embryos, belongs to the group of platelet-activating factors that are known to be important for the development of the pre-implantation embryo in other species. To our knowledge this is the first report of PAFAH1B3 in relation to bovine early embryonic development.
    Domestic animal endocrinology 10/2013; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Uterine secretions, or histotroph, are a critical component for early embryo survival, functioning as the sole supply of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other myriad of nutrients required by the developing conceptus before implantation. Histotroph is therefore a promising source for biomarkers of uterine function and for enhancing our understanding of the environment supporting early embryo development and survival. Utilizing label-free liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) shotgun proteomics, we characterized the uterine proteome at two key preimplantation stages of the estrous cycle in high fertility cattle. We identified 300 proteins on Day 7 and 510 proteins on Day 13 including 281 proteins shared between days. Five proteins were more abundant (P < 0.05) on Day 7 compared with Day 13 and included novel histotroph proteins cytokeratin 10 and stathmin. Twenty-nine proteins were more abundant (P < 0.05) including 13 unique on Day 13 compared with Day 7 and included previously identified legumain, metalloprotease inhibitor-2, and novel histotroph proteins chromogranin A and pyridoxal kinase. Functional analysis of the 34 differentially expressed proteins (including 14 novel to histotroph) revealed distinct biological roles putatively involved in early pregnancy, including remodelling of the uterine environment in preparation for implantation; nutrient metabolism; embryo growth, development and protection; maintenance of uterine health; and maternal immune modulation. This study is the first reported LC-MS/MS based global proteomic characterization of the uterine environment in any domesticated species before implantation and provides novel information on the temporal alterations in histotroph composition during critical stages for early embryo development and uterine function during the early establishment of pregnancy.
    Journal of Proteome Research 03/2012; 11(5):3004-18. · 5.06 Impact Factor