Expression of tenascin-C in stromal cells of the murine uterus during early pregnancy: induction by interleukin-1 alpha, prostaglandin E(2), and prostaglandin F(2 alpha)

Biol Reprod. 2000 Dec;63(6):1713-20. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod63.6.1713.


Tenascin-C (TN-C), an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is known to be expressed in uterine stroma in the peri-implantation period. Examination of the spatiotemporal pattern during early pregnancy using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed TN-C expression in the stroma beneath the luminal epithelia of the murine endometrium on Days 0 and 1 of pregnancy, subsequent disappearance, and reappearance on Day 4. After decidualization, tissue around the deciduoma was positive. In situ hybridization demonstrated TN-C production by the stromal cells adjacent to the epithelia. To investigate the regulation of TN-C expression in vitro, murine uterine stromal and epithelial cells were isolated and cultured. Addition of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and F(2 alpha) (PGF(2 alpha)) induced TN-C expression in the stromal cells at both protein and mRNA levels, while the sex steroid hormones, progesterone and ss-estradiol, exerted little effect. Immunohistochemistry using anti-IL-1 alpha antibody showed epithelial cells to be positive on Days 2-4 of pregnancy, and addition of progesterone but not ss-estradiol enhanced IL-1 alpha expression in epithelial cells in vitro. In a culture insert system, TN-C expression by stromal cells cocultured with epithelial cells was induced by addition of progesterone alone that was blocked by additions of anti-IL-1 alpha antibody. Collectively, these findings indicate that TN-C expression in the preimplantation period is under the control of progesterone, but not directly, possibly by the paracrine and autocrine intervention of IL-1 alpha secreted by epithelial cells and PGE(2) and PGF(2 alpha) secreted by stromal cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • DNA Primers
  • Digoxigenin
  • Dinoprost / biosynthesis
  • Dinoprost / genetics
  • Dinoprost / physiology*
  • Dinoprostone / biosynthesis
  • Dinoprostone / genetics
  • Dinoprostone / physiology*
  • Endometrium / cytology
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Interleukin-1 / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / genetics
  • Pregnancy, Animal / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism*
  • Tenascin / biosynthesis*
  • Tenascin / genetics
  • Uterus / cytology
  • Uterus / metabolism*


  • DNA Primers
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tenascin
  • Dinoprost
  • Dinoprostone
  • Digoxigenin