Cytokines, dendritic cells and toll-like receptors in the success and failure of porcine pregnancy

Linton, Nicola Frances
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University of Guelph

Commercial swine exhibit two spontaneous waves of conceptus loss during gestation. Arresting conceptus attachment sites are associated with decreased angiogenesis and elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine production by lymphocytes. No studies have addressed type 1 and 2 cytokine ratios in pregnant pigs or the presence of DC-SIGN+ DCs, their activation status and angiogenic potential. I hypothesized that type 1 and 2 cytokine ratios are altered at the porcine maternal-fetal interface by pregnancy failure. Further, I postulated that DCs contribute to angiogenesis in healthy pregnancy and conceptus loss is associated with engagement of TLRs. Cytokine ratios and TLR expression were quantified at the maternal-fetal interface at early and mid gestation. DC-SIGN+ DC-like cells were found and their expression of TLRs and angiogenesis-related molecules was addressed. These studies implicate endometrial DC-like cells in the regulation of angiogenesis in pig pregnancy and provide a model for roles of DCs in human pregnancy loss.

type 1 cytokine, type 2 cytokine, ratio, porcine maternal-fetal interface, pregnancy failure, angiogenesis, dendritic cells, toll-like receptors