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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 14504-14517; doi:10.3390/ijms140714504

Uterine Micro-Environment and Estrogen-Dependent Regulation of Osteopontin Expression in Mouse Blastocyst

1,†,* , 1,†
1 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, Hubei, China 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taihe Hospital, Shiyan 441000, Hubei, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 10 June 2013 / Accepted: 1 July 2013 / Published: 11 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Embryo implantation is a highly synchronized bioprocess between an activated blastocyst and a receptive uterus. In mice, successful implantation relies on the dynamic interplay of estrogen and progesterone; however, the key mediators downstream of these hormones that act on blastocyst competency and endometrium receptivity acquisition are largely unknown. In this study, we showed that the expression of osteopontin (OPN) in mouse blastocysts is regulated by ovarian estrogen and uterine micro-environment. OPN mRNA is up-regulated in mouse blastocyst on day 4 of pregnancy, which is associated with ovarian estrogen secretion peak. Hormone treatment in vivo demonstrated that OPN expression in a blastocyst is regulated by estrogen through an estrogen receptor (ER). Our results of the delayed and activated implantation model showed that OPN expression is induced after estrogen injection. While estrogen treatment during embryo culture in vitro showed less effect on OPN expression, the tubal ligation model on day 3 of pregnancy confirmed that the regulation of estrogen on OPN expression in blastocyst might, through some specific cytokines, have existed in a uterine micro-environment. Collectively, our study presents that estrogen regulates OPN expression and it may play an important role during embryo implantation by activating blastocyst competence and facilitating the endometrium acceptable for active blastocyst.
Keywords: implantation; estrogen; uterus; blastocyst; osteopontin implantation; estrogen; uterus; blastocyst; osteopontin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Xie, Q.-Z.; Qi, Q.-R.; Chen, Y.-X.; Xu, W.-M.; Liu, Q.; Yang, J. Uterine Micro-Environment and Estrogen-Dependent Regulation of Osteopontin Expression in Mouse Blastocyst. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 14504-14517.

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