Fetal-fluid proteome analyses in late-term healthy pregnant mares and in mares with experimentally induced ascending placentitis.


Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, 1400 Nicholasville Road, Lexington, KY 40503, USA; and Corresponding author. Email: [Email]


Characterisation of fetal fluids in healthy and disease states of pregnant mares can help to unravel the pathophysiology and to identify putative markers of disease. Thus, this study aimed to compare the protein composition of: (1) amniotic and allantoic fluids of healthy mares obtained immediately after euthanasia and (2) allantoic fluid harvested via centesis before and after experimental induction of placentitis via transcervical inoculation of Streptococcus equi ssp zooepidemicus in healthy mares. Fetal fluids were analysed with a high-throughput proteomic technique after in-gel digestion. Statistical comparisons were performed following normalisation of peptide spectral match. Global normalisation was performed to calculate relative expression. There were 112 unique proteins present in both allantoic and amniotic fluids. There were 13 and 29 proteins defined as amniotic- or allantoic-specific respectively that were present in at least two fluid samples. Another 26 proteins were present in both amniotic and allantoic fluids. Panther DB functional classification grouped fetal-fluid proteins as transfer carriers, signalling molecules, receptors, immunity, hydrolase, enzymes, membrane traffic, cytoskeleton, cell adhesion, calcium binding and extracellular matrix. Experimentally induced placentitis resulted in 10 proteins being upregulated and 10 downregulated in allantoic fluid. Newly identified proteins and changes in the fetal-fluid proteome provide clues about the physiology of pregnancy and pathogenesis of placentitis.