Summary. In Exp. 1, administration of 5 mg oestradiol valerate i.m. to pregnant gilts on Days 9 or 9 and 10 advanced the uterine secretion of calcium, protein, and acid phosphatase as demonstrated by levels recovered in the uterine flushings of females unilaterally hysterectomized on Day 11. Upon removal of the remaining uterine horn on Day 12, protein and acid phosphatase increased while Ca2+ decreased in oestradiol-treated gilts as did PGF. In contrast, a 4-fold increase in recoverable Ca2+ occurred from Days 11 to 12 in control gilts. Recoverable oestradiol-17β was increased in all 3 groups on Day 12 and plasmin inhibitor concentration increased in oestradiol-treated gilts. Two-dimensional PAGE demonstrated the appearance of a group of very acidic polypeptides in oestradiol-treated gilts. Blastocysts recovered from the second uterine horn had undergone elongation to the filamentous morphology in all 3 groups.
In Exp. 2, oestradiol valerate was administered to pregnant gilts on Day 9 or Days 9 and 10 followed by total hysterectomy on Day 16. No differences in recoverable Ca2+ or protein were found, but acid phosphatase was decreased by 75% after oestradiol treatment. Recoverable oestradiol was decreased in oestradiol-treated gilts while PGF and plasmin inhibitor concentrations were unaffected. Compared with the control gilts, blastocysts recovered from oestradiol-treated gilts were fragmented and degenerating on Day 16. PAGE demonstrated greatly intensified staining of the group of acidic polypeptides in oestradiol-treated gilts.
These results indicate that oestradiol treatment on Day 9 of pregnancy advances uterine secretory response, but that blastocyst elongation can occur in this uterine environment and in the presence of declining intraluminal Ca2+ levels. However, the blastocysts fail to survive to Day 16, presumably due to failure of attachment because of an alteration in the uterine secretory environment and/or changes in uterine surface proteins.
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