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Histochem Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;129(6):817-25. doi: 10.1007/s00418-008-0409-8. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Expression of adipokines in preimplantation rabbit and mice embryos.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University Faculty of Medicine, Grosse Steinstrasse 52, 06097, Halle Saale, Germany.


Recent studies point to a role for adipokines in reproduction. Leptin is involved in embryo metabolism and may participate in embryo-maternal crosstalk. Little is known about potential roles of other adipokines in reproduction. We therefore studied the expression of adiponectin and pathway members during the pre- and periimplantation period in rabbits and mice. Adiponectin protein is localized in glandular epithelium of the rabbit endometrium on day 6 and 8 p.c. and in mouse endometrium on day 3.5 and 5 p.c. Rabbit, but not mice blastocysts express adiponectin mRNA. Adiponectin receptors one and two, adiponectin paralogues and PPARs were found in both species. Both, trophoblast and embryoblast were adiponectin positive. Real time PCR for adipoR1 and adipoR2 in rabbit blastocysts of different gastrulation stages at day 6 p.c. revealed a specific switch in expression: Expression was high in the trophoblast in early stages and in the embryoblast shortly prior to implantation. In conclusion, during the pre- and periimplantation period, members of the adiponectin pathway are expressed in endometrium and blastocysts, with a specific expression pattern in the embryonic disk of the gastrulating rabbit blastocyst, giving support to a role of the adipokine network in blastocyst differentiation and embryo-maternal interactions.

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