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1 September 2000 Divergence in Murine Myometrium Spontaneous and Oxytocin-Stimulated Contractile Responses to Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatase-1 Inhibition
Gary D. Smith, Xiao-Tie Liu, Mark Phillippe
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Reversible phosphorylation is essential in regulating uterine contractions. Identification, characterization, and functional understanding of myometrium protein phosphatase(s) are lacking. Okadaic acid (OA), which inhibits protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) and PP2A, has been shown to alter uterine contractions. Experiments were conducted to determine the 1) identity of the myometrial OA-sensitive PP, 2) influence of OA on spontaneous and oxytocin (OT)-stimulated myometrial contractions, and 3) expression of uterine PPs during sexual development. Western blot analysis indicated the presence of PP1α and PP2A in immature and mature mice. As determined by immunohistochemistry, gonadotropin-stimulated adult mouse uteri contain PP1α in longitudinal and circular myometrial layers and endometrial epithelium. Conversely, PP2A was localized to the endometrial stroma. Cumulative addition of OA (n = 9; 10, 100, 250, 500, 1000 nM) did not significantly alter spontaneous contractions of mouse uterine horns in comparison to vehicle-treated controls (n = 9). By the end of the test period OA- and vehicle-treated uteri displayed a comparable decline in uterine contractions to 79.2% and 63.7%, respectively, of basal contractile activity. Pretreatment of uterine tissue with OA (1 μM; n = 7) significantly reduced contractile response to increasing concentrations of OT (8, 16, 32, 64 nM) in comparison to vehicle pretreatment (dimethyl sulfoxide; n = 7). At the end of the OT-administration period, contractile activity was 160.4% and 67.3% of basal contractile activity for vehicle (no OA) and OA-pretreated groups, respectively. During the early prepubertal period PP1α was expressed in longitudinal myometrium and absent in circular myometrium; whereas, during the transition to sexual maturity PP1α was observed in both the longitudinal and circular myometrium. In summary, these studies have indicated 1) that PP1 is the primary myometrial OA-sensitive PP; 2) that inhibition of PP1 had no effect on spontaneous contractions, whereas it markedly inhibited OT-stimulated uterine contractions; and 3) that PP1 is differentially expressed in the circular and longitudinal myometrium in relation to sexual development.

Gary D. Smith, Xiao-Tie Liu, and Mark Phillippe "Divergence in Murine Myometrium Spontaneous and Oxytocin-Stimulated Contractile Responses to Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatase-1 Inhibition," Biology of Reproduction 63(3), 781-788, (1 September 2000).
Received: 7 December 1999; Accepted: 1 April 2000; Published: 1 September 2000

signal transduction
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