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Connect Tissue Res. 2007;48(2):99-108.

Distribution of collagen types I, III, and V in pregnant mouse endometrium.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biology of Reproduction and Extracellular Matrix, Department of Cell and Development Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Decidualization in mice comprises a deep remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM) components of the endometrium. In a previous biochemical study we showed that collagen types I and III are present in both pregnant and nonpregnant mouse endometrium, whereas collagen type V is expressed exclusively after the onset of decidualization. The distribution of collagen types in the pregnant mouse endometrium and possible changes of these molecular types in the different regions of the decidua is, however, not known. Using immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy we showed the presence of collagen types I, III, and V in the endometrial stroma of implantation and interimplantation sites from days 5 to 8 of pregnancy in the mouse. Collagen type III was chiefly expressed in the implantation sites and was the only collagen type to be present in the materno-fetal interface on the day of the embryo implantation. However, collagen type I was the predominant collagen in the interimplantation sites. Collagen type V was weakly expressed in the nondecidualized stroma during all periods but was expressed in larger amounts in the decidualized areas on day 7 of pregnancy, simultaneously with the accumulation of thick collagen fibrils in the same region. The highest immunofluorescence labeling for the three types of collagen was observed on day 7 when the antimesometrial decidual tissue achieved its greatest development. These data support previous studies that showed an intense ECM remodeling of the mouse endometrial stroma during the beginning of pregnancy. This outstanding remodeling may be important to stabilize placental anchorage.

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