Purpose: To examine the in vivo expression of oviductin mRNA at different stages of the human female reproductive cycle including pregnancy and after menopause.
Methods: Oviducts were obtained from 25 women in normal menstrual cycle, 5 in early pregnancy, 5 undergoing postpartum sterilization, and 4 menopausal women. The oviductal mucosal tissue was isolated and oviductin mRNA was assessed using reverse-transriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); its correlation with various hormones was assessed.
Results: Oviductin mRNA was detected throughout the menstrual cycle, highest in the periovulatory period. It continued to be expressed in early pregnancy but was absent in the postpartum period and after menopause.
Conclusions: The production and function of oviductin at different stages of human reproductive cycle including pregnancy is not well known. Its highest expression at the time of ovulation is consistent with a supportive role in fertilization and early embryo development.