Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is considered important for blastocyst spacing, implantation, and decidualization in the rodent uterus. PGE synthase (PGES) catalyzes the isomerization of PGH2 to PGE2. There are two isoforms of PGES, microsomal PGES (mPGES) and cytosolic PGES (cPGES). However, the expression and regulation of mPGES in the mammalian uterus during early pregnancy are still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the differential expression of mPGES in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under different conditions by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Microsomal PGES expression in the preimplantation mouse embryos was also performed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Expression of mPGES mRNA and protein was at a basal level in the luminal epithelium from Day 1 to Day 4 of pregnancy. However, mPGES mRNA and protein were highly expressed in the stroma immediately surrounding the blastocyst but not in the luminal epithelium on Day 5 of pregnancy. Microsomal PGES mRNA and protein were not detected in the pseudopregnant uterus from Day 1 to Day 5. During delayed implantation, mPGES mRNA and protein were also not detected in the uterus. Once delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implantation initiated, both mPGES mRNA and protein were induced to express in the stroma immediately surrounding the blastocyst, which was similar to the expression pattern on Day 5 of pregnancy. From Day 6 to Day 8 of pregnancy, the signals for mPGES mRNA and protein were strongly detected in the decidualized cells. Microsomal PGES mRNA and protein were also highly expressed in the artificially decidualized cells but not in the control horn. Microsomal PGES mRNA was detected in the oocytes and all the stages of preimplantation embryos. The strong mPGES expression in the implantation site and decidual cells suggests that mPGES might play an important role during implantation and more importantly in decidualization.
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