Impaired fertility in female mice lacking urinary trypsin inhibitor

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Mar;281(5):1154-60. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2001.4475.


Urinary trypsin inhibitor (UTI) is a serine proteinase inhibitor that is found in blood and urine. To investigate the physiological functions of UTI in vivo, we generated UTI-deficient mice by gene targeting. The mice showed no obvious abnormalities and appeared healthy. However, the females displayed a severe reduction in fertility. Wild-type embryos developed normally when transplanted into UTI-deficient female mice, suggesting that UTI-deficient females have a normal ability to maintain pregnancy. The number of naturally ovulated oocytes from UTI-deficient mice was greatly reduced compared with that from wild-type mice. Histologically, oocytes with disorganized corona radiata were frequently seen in the ovaries of UTI-deficient mice after hormonal stimulation. When ovaries from UTI-deficient mice were transplanted into wild-type mice, pups derived from the transplanted ovaries were obtained, suggesting that the ovary of UTI-deficient mice functions normally if UTI is supplied from the systemic circulation. These results demonstrate that UTI plays an important role in the formation of the stable cumulus-oocyte complex that is essential for oocyte maturation and ovulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Infertility / etiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Ovary / anatomy & histology
  • Ovary / transplantation
  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy


  • Glycoproteins
  • urinastatin