Environmental constraints and pathologies that modulate equine placental genes and development

in Reproduction
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  • 1 M Robles, Centre Armand-Frappier et Santé Biotechnologies, INRS, Laval, Canada
  • | 2 S Loux, Department of Veterinary Science , University of Kentucky Maxwell H Gluck Equine Research Center, Lexington, 40546, United States
  • | 3 A de Mestre, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • | 4 P Chavatte-Palmer, UMR BREED, Université Paris Saclay, INRAE, UVSQ, ENVA, INRAE, Paris, France

Correspondence: Morgane Robles, Email: morgane.robles@gmail.com
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Equine placental development is a long process with unique features. Implantation occurs around 40 days of gestation (dpo) with the presence of a transient invasive placenta from 25-35dpo to 100-120dpo. The definitive non-invasive placenta remains until term (330d). This definitive placenta is diffuse and epitheliochorial, exchanging nutrients, gas and waste with the endometrium through microvilli, called microcotyledons. These are lined by an external layer of haemotrophic trophoblast. Moreover, histotrophic exchange remains active through the histotrophic trophoblast located along the areolae. Placental development is dependent on the maternal environment that can be affected by several factors (e.g., nutrition, metabolism, age, embryo technologies, pathologies) that may affect foetal development as well as long-term offspring health. The first section of the review focuses on normal placental development as well as definitive placental structure. Differences between the various areas of the placenta are also highlighted. The latter sections provide an overview of the effects of the maternal environment and reproductive pathologies, respectively, on trophoblast/placental gene expression and structure. So far, only pre-implantation and late gestation/term data are available, which demonstrate an important placental plasticity in response to environmental variation, with genes involved in oxidative stress and tissue differentiation mostly involved in the pre-implantation period, whereas genes involved in foeto-placental growth and nutrient transfers are mostly perturbed at term.


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