Metabolic compounds within the porcine uterine environment are unique to the type of conceptus present during the early stages of blastocyst elongation

Sophie C. Walsh, Jeremy R. Miles, Linxing Yao, Corey D. Broeckling, Lea A. Rempel, Elane C. Wright-Johnson, Angela K. Pannier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of this study was to identify metabolites within the porcine uterine milieu during the early stages of blastocyst elongation. At Days 9, 10, or 11 of gestation, reproductive tracts of White cross-bred gilts (n = 38) were collected immediately following harvest and flushed with Roswell Park Memorial Institute-1640 medium. Conceptus morphologies were assessed from each pregnancy and corresponding uterine flushings were assigned to one of five treatment groups based on these morphologies: (a) uniform spherical (n = 8); (b) heterogeneous spherical and ovoid (n = 8); (c) uniform ovoid (n = 8); (d) heterogeneous ovoid and tubular (n = 8); and (e) uniform tubular (n = 6). Uterine flushings from these pregnancies were submitted for nontargeted profiling by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)–MS techniques. Unsupervised multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) was performed using pcaMethods and univariate analysis of variance was performed in R with false discovery rate (FDR) adjustment. PCA analysis of the GC–MS and UPLC–MS data identified 153 and 104 metabolites, respectively. After FDR adjustment of the GC–MS and UPLC–MS data, 38 and 59 metabolites, respectively, differed (p <.05) in uterine flushings from pregnancies across the five conceptus stages. Some metabolites were greater (p <.05) in abundance for uterine flushings containing earlier stage conceptuses (i.e., spherical), such as uric acid, tryptophan, and tyrosine. In contrast, some metabolites were greater (p <.05) in abundance for uterine flushings containing later stage conceptuses (i.e., tubular), such as creatinine, serine, and urea. These data illustrate several putative metabolites that change within the uterine milieu during early porcine blastocyst elongation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-190
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • blastocyst elongation
  • metabolome
  • porcine
  • uterine environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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