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Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 May 21;7:49. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-49.

Uterine and placental expression of TRPV6 gene is regulated via progesterone receptor- or estrogen receptor-mediated pathways during pregnancy in rodents.

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  • 1Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.


Transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 6 (TRPV6) is an epithelial Ca2+ channel protein expressed in calcium absorbing organs. In the present study, we investigated the expression and regulation of uterine and placental TRPV6 during gestation in rodents. Uterine TRPV6 peaked at pregnancy day (P) 0.5, P5.5 and, P13.5 and was detected in uterine epithelium and glands of rats, while placental TRPV6 mRNA levels increased in mid-gestation. Uterine and placental TRPV6 mRNA levels in rats appear to cyclically change during pregnancy, suggesting that TRPV6 may participate in the implantation process. In addition, uterine TRPV6 mRNA is only expressed in placenta-unattached areas of the uterus, and uterine TRPV6 immunoreactivity was observed in luminal and glandular epithelial cells. In the placenta, TRPV6 was detected in the labyrinth and spongy zone. These results may indicate that TRPV6 has at least two functions: implantation of the embryo and maintenance of pregnancy. To investigate the pathway(s) mediating TRPV6 expression in rodents, anti-steroid hormone antagonists were injected prior to maximal TRPV6 expression. In rats, TRPV6 expression was reduced by RU486 (an anti-progesterone) through progesterone receptors, and ICI 182,780 (an anti-estrogen) blocked TRPV6 expression via estrogen receptors in mice. The juxtaposition of uterine and placental TRPV6 expressed in these tissues supports the notion that TRPV6 participates in transferring calcium ions between the maternal and fetal compartments. Taken together, TRPV6 gene may function as a key element in controlling calcium transport in the uterus between the embryo and the placenta during pregnancy.

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