Mechanisms regulating the initiation of porcine conceptus elongation

Jeremy R. Miles, Sophie C. Walsh, Lea A. Rempel, Angela K. Pannier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Significant increases in litter size within commercial swine production over the past decades have led to increases in preweaning piglet mortality due to increase within-litter birthweight variation, typically due to mortality of the smallest littermate piglets. Therefore, identifying mechanisms to reduce variation in placental development and subsequent fetal growth are critical to normalizing birthweight variation and improving piglet survivability in high-producing commercial pigs. A major contributing factor to induction of within-litter variation occurs during the peri-implantation period as the pig blastocyst elongates from spherical to filamentous morphology in a short period of time and rapidly begins superficial implantation. During this period, there is significant within-litter variation in the timing and extent of elongation among littermates. As a result, delays and deficiencies in conceptus elongation not only contribute directly to early embryonic mortality, but also influence subsequent within-litter birthweight variation. This study will highlight key aspects of conceptus elongation and provide some recent evidence pertaining to specific mechanisms from -omics studies (i.e., metabolomics of the uterine environment and transcriptomics of the conceptus) that may specifically regulate the initiation of conceptus elongation to identify potential factors to reduce within-litter variation and improve piglet survivability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • conceptus elongation
  • metabolomics
  • porcine
  • transcriptomics
  • uterine environment
  • within-litter variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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