The conceptus increases secreted phosphoprotein 1 gene expression in the mouse uterus during the progression of decidualization mainly due to its effects on uterine natural killer cells.

Herington JL, Bany BM
Reproduction. 2007 133 (6): 1213-21

PMID: 17636175 · PMCID: PMC2613481 · DOI:10.1530/REP-07-0085

Within the mouse endometrium, secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1) gene expression is mainly expressed in the luminal epithelium and some macrophages around the onset of implantation. However, during the progression of decidualization, it is expressed mainly in the mesometrial decidua. To date, the precise cell types responsible for the expression in the mesometrial decidua has not been absolutely identified. The goal of the present study was to assess the expression of SPP1 in uteri of pregnant mice (decidua) during the progression of decidualization and compared it with those undergoing artificially induced decidualization (deciduoma). Significantly (P<0.05) greater steady-state levels of SPP1 mRNA were seen in the decidua when compared with deciduoma. Further, in the decidua, the majority of the SPP1 protein was localized within a subpopulation of granulated uterine natural killer (uNK) cells but not co-localized to their granules. However, in addition to being localized to uNK cells, SPP1 protein was also detected in another cell type(s) that were not epidermal growth factor-like containing mucin-like hormone receptor-like sequence 1 protein-positive immune cells that are known to be present in the uterus at this time. Finally, decidual SPP1 expression dramatically decreased in uteri of interleukin-15-deficient mice that lack uNK cells. In conclusion, SPP1 expression is greater in the mouse decidua when compared with the deciduoma after the onset of implantation during the progression of decidualization. Finally, uNK cells were found to be the major source of SPP1 in the pregnant uterus during decidualization. SPP1 might play a key role in uNK killer cell functions in the uterus during decidualization.

MeSH Terms (14)

Animals Decidua Deciduoma Female Gene Expression Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental Interleukin-15 Killer Cells, Natural Mice Mice, Inbred Strains Mice, Knockout Osteopontin RNA, Messenger Uterus

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