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Reproduction. 2011 Apr;141(4):511-27. doi: 10.1530/REP-10-0358. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Microarray assessment of the influence of the conceptus on gene expression in the mouse uterus during decidualization.

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Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, USA.


During pregnancy in several species including humans and rodents, the endometrium undergoes decidualization. This process of differentiation from endometrial to decidual tissue occurs only after the onset of implantation in mice. It can also be artificially induced causing the formation of deciduomal tissue. The purpose of this study was to compare the gene expression profile of the developing decidua in pregnant mice with the deciduoma formed after artificial induction in an effort to identify conceptus-influenced changes in uterine gene expression during decidualization. We induced decidualization artificially by transferring blastocyst-sized ConA-coated agarose beads into the uterus on day 2.5 of pseudopregnancy. Recently published work has found this model to be more 'physiological' than other methods. Total RNA was isolated from blastocyst and bead-induced 'implantation' sites of the uteri of day 7.5 pregnant (decidua) and pseudopregnant (deciduoma) mice respectively. This RNA was then used for microarray analysis using Mouse Illumina BeadArray chips. This analysis revealed potential differential mRNA levels of only 45 genes between the decidua and bead-induced deciduoma tissues. We confirmed the differential mRNA levels of 31 of these genes using quantitative RT-PCR. Finally, the level and localization of some of the mRNAs for select genes (Aldh3a1, Bcmo1, Guca2b, and Inhbb) identified by our microarray analysis were examined in more detail. This study provides the identity of a small set of genes whose expression in the uterus during decidualization may be influenced by molecular signals from the conceptus.

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