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Miao Zhao, Wen-Qian Zhang, and Ji-Long Liu

Although regional differences in mouse decidualization have been recognized for decades, the molecular mechanisms remain understudied. In the present study, by using RNA-seq, we compared transcriptomic differences between the anti-mesometrial (AM) region and the mesometrial (M) region of mouse uterus on day 8 of pregnancy. A total of 1423 differentially expressed genes were identified, of which 811 genes were upregulated and 612 genes were downregulated in the AM region compared to those in the M region. Gene ontology analysis showed that upregulated genes were generally involved in cell metabolism and differentiation, whereas downregulated genes were associated with lymphocyte themes and immune response. Through network analysis, we identified a total of 6 hub genes. These hub genes are likely more important than other genes due to their key positions in the network. We also examined the promoter regions of differentially expressed genes for the enrichment of transcription factor-binding sites. In the end, we demonstrated that a similar regional gene expression pattern can be observed in the artificial decidualization model. Our study contributes to an increase in the knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying regional decidualization in mice.

Open access

Ning-Xin Qin, Yi-Ran Zhao, Wei-Hui Shi, Zhi-Yang Zhou, Ke-Xin Zou, Chuan-Jin Yu, Xia Liu, Ze-Han Dong, Yi-Ting Mao, Cheng-Liang Zhou, Jia-Le Yu, Xin-Mei Liu, Jian-Zhong Sheng, Guo-Lian Ding, Wen-Long Zhao, Yan-Ting Wu, and He-Feng Huang

The number of children born after assisted reproductive technology (ART) is accumulating rapidly, and the health problems of the children are extensively concerned. This study aims to evaluate whether ART procedures alter behaviours in male offspring. Mouse models were utilized to establish three groups of offspring conceived by natural conception (NC), in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), and frozen-thawed embryo transfer (IVF-FET), respectively. A battery of behaviour experiments for evaluating anxiety and depression levels, including the open field test (OFT), elevated plus maze (EPM) test, light/dark transition test (L/DTT), tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST), and sucrose preference test (SPT) was carried out. Aged (18 months old), but not young (3 months old), male offspring in the IVF-ET and IVF-FET groups, compared with those in the NC group, exhibited increased anxiety and depression-like behaviours. The protein expression levels of three neurotrophins in PFC or hippocampus in aged male offspring from the IVF-ET and IVF-FET groups reduced at different extent, in comparison to NC group. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed in the hippocampus of 18 months old offspring to further explore the gene expression profile changes in the three groups. KEGG analyses revealed the coexisted pathways, such as PI3K-Akt signalling pathway, which potentially reflected the similarity and divergence in anxiety and depression between the offspring conceived by IVF-ET and IVF-FET. Our research suggested the adverse effects of advanced age on the psychological health of children born after ART should be highlighted in the future.