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Biol Reprod. 2009 Oct;81(4):795-805. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.108.075184. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Evidence for estrogen-dependent uterine serpin (SERPINA14) expression during estrus in the bovine endometrial glandular epithelium and lumen.

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Physiology Weihenstephan, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Freising, Germany.


Uterine secretions have a dominant impact on the environment in which embryo development takes place. The uterine serpins (SERPINA14, previously known as UTMP) are found most abundantly during pregnancy in the uterus of ruminants. Although progesterone is currently assumed to be the major regulator of SERPINA14 expression, our recent study of transcriptome changes in bovine endometrium during the estrous cycle unexpectedly detected a marked upregulation of SERPINA14 mRNA levels at estrus. The present study describes the full-length mRNA sequence, genomic organization, and putative promoter elements of the SERPINA14 gene. The SERPINA14 mRNA abundance was quantified by real-time RT-PCR in intercaruncular endometrium at several time points during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy. Highest levels were found at estrus, followed by a dramatic decrease and a moderate expression during the luteal phase. Transcript levels were higher in pregnant endometrium compared with controls at Day 18. At estrus, immunoreactive protein was localized in deep glandular epithelium, and Western blotting concomitantly showed the 52-kDa form in uterine flushings. SERPINA14 mRNA was significantly upregulated in glandular endometrial cells in vitro after stimulation with estradiol-17beta and progesterone, but not after interferon-tau treatment. Our results clearly demonstrate that SERPINA14 appears distinctly in bovine endometrium during the estrus phase. A supporting role toward providing a well-prepared endometrial environment for passing gametes, especially sperm, is assumed.

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