Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 46, Number 6, November-December 2006
Page(s) 641 - 655
Published online 15 December 2006
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46 (2006) 641-655
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2006037

Gene expression pattern and hormonal regulation of Small Proline-Rich Protein 2 family members in the female mouse reproductive system during the estrous cycle and pregnancy

Yin-fei Tan, Xiao-yang Sun, Fei-xue Li, Shuang Tang, Yun-shang Piao and Yan-ling Wang

State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China

(Received 1 February 2006; accepted 7 July 2006 ; published online 15 December 2006)

Abstract - Small proline-rich proteins (SPRR) are known to construct the cornified cell envelope (CE) in the stratified squamous epithelial cell. Their functions in the simple epithelium such as the uterine epithelium are not clear hitherto. In the present study, the mRNA expression patterns of sprr2 family members in the mouse uterus and vagina during the estrous cycle and pregnancy as well as their regulation by steroids were investigated. Using semi-quantitative RT-PCR, it was revealed that the transcripts of sprr2b, 2e and 2g genes were up-regulated in the proestrous and estrous uteri, and sprr2d was up-regulated only in the estrous uterus. In the vagina, transcription of sprr2a, 2b, 2d, 2e and 2k genes were up-regulated at the metestrous stage. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that the overall expression of sprr2 was highly up-regulated in the estrous uterus and the metestrous vagina. During pregnancy, the sprr2 mRNA in the uterus was sharply repressed from day 3 postcoitus on, and began to be induced around labor time. In situ hybridization showed that the sprr2 transcripts were localized in uterine luminal and glandular epithelial cells as well as vaginal stratified epithelial cells. In ovariectomized mice, the expression of sprr2a, 2d, 2e and 2f genes in the uterus were induced by estrogen, and the effect of estrogen on sprr2d and 2e expression could be partly abolished by progesterone. The data indicate that the sprr2 genes have unique regulation patterns in different reproductive tissues under different physiological conditions, and the encoded proteins might play diverse functions in the female reproductive system.

Key words: small proline-rich protein / uterus / estrous cycle / pregnancy / stress

Corresponding author:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006