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Conceptus elongation and early placentation involve growth and remodeling that requires proliferation and migration of cells. This demands conceptuses expend energy before establishment of a placenta connection and when they are dependent upon components of histotroph secreted or transported into the uterine lumen from the uterus. Glucose and fructose, as well as many amino acids (including arginine, aspartate, glutamine, glutamate, glycine, methionine, and serine), increase in the uterine lumen during the peri-implantation period. Glucose and fructose enter cells via their transporters, SLC2A, SLC2A3, and SLC2A8, and amino acids enter the cells via specific transporters that are expressed by the conceptus trophectoderm. However, porcine conceptuses develop rapidly through extensive cellular proliferation and migration as they elongate and attach to the uterine wall resulting in increased metabolic demands. Therefore, coordination of multiple metabolic biosynthetic pathways is an essential aspect of conceptus development. Oxidative metabolism primarily occurs through the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and the electron transport chain, but proliferating and migrating cells, like the trophectoderm of pigs, enhance aerobic glycolysis. The glycolytic intermediates from glucose can then be shunted into the pentose phosphate pathway and one-carbon metabolism for the de novo synthesis of nucleotides. A result of aerobic glycolysis is limited availability of pyruvate for maintaining the TCA cycle, and trophectoderm cells likely replenish TCA cycle metabolites primarily through glutaminolysis to convert glutamine into TCA cycle intermediates. The synthesis of ATP, nucleotides, amino acids, and fatty acids through these biosynthetic pathways is essential to support elongation, migration, hormone synthesis, implantation, and early placental development of conceptuses.© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Gregory A Johnson, Heewon Seo, Fuller W Bazer, Guoyao Wu, Avery C Kramer, Bryan A McLendon, Joe W Cain. Metabolic pathways utilized by the porcine conceptus, uterus, and placenta. Molecular reproduction and development. 2022 Apr 22

PMID: 35460118

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