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Mol Reprod Dev. 1997 Apr;46(4):507-14.

Uterocalin: a mouse acute phase protein expressed in the uterus around birth.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


Mouse SIP24/24p3 is a 24 kDa lipocalin expressed in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream during the acute phase response (APR). In this report we show that SIP24/24p3 mRNA and protein are expressed in the uterus around parturition at levels higher than are found in the liver during the APR. Because of the unique expression of this lipocalin in the uterus, we have named this protein uterocalin. Contrary to its expression pattern during the APR, there is little or no expression of uterocalin in the liver during or after pregnancy. Also, unlike the APR, and despite its high level of expression in the uterus, uterocalin was not detected in the blood or amniotic fluid. Day 19 and postpartum uterine samples were examined by immunocytochemistry. Uterocalin was found in the luminal epithelium at day 19 and in the glandular epithelium in postpartum samples. Although some uterocalin remained in the luminal epithelium, most of the uterocalin was found deposited on its luminal surface. The uterus undergoes extensive tissue remodeling during pregnancy and suffers stress and tissue damage around parturition. Uterocalin could be part of the local inflammatory response associated with parturition.

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