Influence of Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) and pregnancy on the expression of angiogenic factors in the porcine female reproductive tract
Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is a heritable disorder caused by defects of the Von Willebrand Factor (VWF), leading to deficiencies in coagulation and also angiogenesis. Women affected by VWD frequently show bleeding concerning the reproductive tract and may present with increased rates of miscarriages. We used a porcine model representing VWD type 1 and type 3 as well as the wildtype. Samples were obtained from the reproductive tract of non-pregnant sows and sows pregnant at time of placentation. Relative expression of the genes CALR, CCN2, CXCL8, ECE1, EDN1, F8, IGFBP7, and LGALS3 was analyzed. CCN2 and FVIII proteins were additionally analyzed using immunohistochemistry. In uterus and ovary significant upregulation of CCN2 was seen in non-pregnant pigs affected by VWD. This might be caused by the higher VEGFA-levels in these pigs and could have an influence angiogenesis. During pregnancy, CCN2 expression increased in wildtype pig uteri but hardly changed in those of pregnant pigs affected by VWD, presumably because the expression level in the latter pigs already was significantly increased before pregnancy. F8 expression was significantly reduced in uterus and ovary of VWD-affected pigs. VWF is known to protect FVIII from decomposition and a lack of VWF leads to lower levels of FVIII. Our results suggest that a reduced F8 expression primarily might contribute to those reduced FVIII levels in VWD-affected pigs. Additional significant results involving the pregnant pigs were detected for CALR, EDN1, and LGALS3. These genes are promising candidates for more detailed future studies.