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  • Author: Hiroshi Fujiwara x
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Yumi Takao, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Shinya Yoshioka, Shingo Fujii and Masamichi Ueda

To investigate the physiological characteristics of the corpus luteum (CL) of pregnancy, we raised a mAb, human corpus luteum (HCL)-4, against human luteal cells obtained from CL of pregnancy. The affinity-purified antigen from human CL of pregnancy or placenta using HCL-4 was a 61 kDa protein. The partial amino acid sequence of the antigenic protein was identical to that of human monoamine oxidase A (MAOA, EC1.4.3.4). MAOA has been shown to catabolize catecholamines that were reported to regulate luteal function in CL and vasoconstriction in various organs. Immunohistochemistry using HCL-4 mAb showed that MAOA was intensely expressed on large luteal cells and moderately expressed on small luteal cells in the CL of pregnancy. In the CL of menstrual cycle, MAOA was weakly detected on large luteal cells but not detected at all on small luteal cells. Western blotting analysis confirmed the high expression of MAOA in CL of pregnancy. Northern blot analysis also showed the expression of MAOA mRNA in human CL, and showed that its expression was higher in CL of pregnancy than in CL of menstrual cycle. The increased expression of MAOA in the CL of pregnancy suggests the contribution of MAOA to the function of the CL of pregnancy.

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Rulan Bai, Hanako Bai, Mariko Kuse, Atsushi Ideta, Yoshito Aoyagi, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Kiyoshi Okuda, Kazuhiko Imakawa and Toshihiro Sakurai

Following bidirectional communication, the conceptus and the uterine epithelium must establish a proper cell–cell interaction, resulting in the progression of implantation processes. To clarify the mechanism of conceptus attachment to the uterine endometrium, we studied whether vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM1) was expressed in bovine conceptuses or endometrium during the peri-attachment period. Uterine VCAM1 expression was minimal in day 17 (day 0=day of estrus) cyclic and pregnant animals, but increased between days 20 and 22 of pregnancy. In the intercaruncular regions, VCAM1 protein was localized to the luminal and glandular epithelia, whereas in the caruncular regions, VCAM1 protein was detected in the stroma and endothelia of the uterine endometrium. In cultured endometrial epithelial cells (EECs), VCAM1 expression was up-regulated when treated with uterine flushings or growth factor and further increased when EECs were cocultured with bovine trophoblast CT1 cells. VCAM1 expression in CT1 cells was also up-regulated with the use of uterine flushings, and further increased when these cells were cocultured with EECs. Expression of VCAM1 receptor, integrin α 4 (ITGA4) mRNA, increased significantly in day 22 conceptuses. In day 22 pregnant uteri, VCAM1 protein was found in both EECs and conceptuses, but ITGA4 was localized only to trophoblasts. These observations indicate that cell–cell interactions between conceptuses and uterine epithelial cells are required for sufficient VCAM1 and ITGA4 expression in the bovine species and suggest that uterine VCAM1 and conceptus ITGA4 play a role in the establishment of conceptus adhesion to the uterine endometrium.

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Risako Oda-Sakurai, Hiroshi Yoshitake, Yoshiki Miura, Saiko Kazuno, Takashi Ueno, Akiko Hasegawa, Kenji Yamatoya, Kenji Takamori, Atsuo Itakura, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Satoru Takeda and Yoshihiko Araki

Ts4, an autosperm-monoclonal antibody (mAb), reacts with a specific oligosaccharide (OS) of glycoproteins containing bisecting N-acetylglucosamine residues. Ts4 reactivity was observed against epididymal spermatozoa, testicular germ cells, and the early embryo, but not against major organs in adult mice. In mature testis, Ts4 exhibits immunoreactivity with a germ cell-specific glycoprotein, TEX101, whereas the mAb immunoreacts with alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase in the acrosomal region of cauda epididymal spermatozoa. Thus, Ts4 seems to react against different molecules throughout spermiogenesis via binding to its OS epitope. Since the Ts4-epitope OS is observed only in reproduction-related regions, the Ts4-reactive OS may play a role in the reproductive process. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the Ts4-reactive molecule(s) during testicular development. Ts4 reactivity was observed in testes from the prenatal period; however, its distribution changed according to the stage of maturation and was identical to that of the adult testes after 29-day-postpartum (dpp). Ts4 immunoreactivity was detected against a protein with 63 kDa in testis from 1 to 29 dpp. In contrast, Ts4 showed reactivity against some other glycoproteins after 29 dpp, including TEX101 at the 5-week-old stage and onward. To identify the Ts4-reactive 63 kDa molecule, we identified NUP62 as the target of Ts4 in 22 dpp testis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Because NUP62 has been known to play active roles in a variety of cellular processes including mitosis and cell migration, the bisecting GlcNAc recognized by Ts4 on NUP62 may play a role in regulating the early development of germ cells in male gonadal organs.