Endopeptidase isolated from the uterine fluid of oestrous rats was used to immunize rabbits. Immunoelectrophoresis of whole uterine fluid, purified uterine fluid peptidase and blood serum indicated that the peptidase is unique to uterine secretion and is not found in blood. The immunofluorescent protein tracing was carried out in frozen sections of the reproductive organs of immature rats, immature rats given oestrogen, mature cycling, pregnant and pseudopregnant rats. Specific immunofluorescence was observed in the luminal epithelium of the proximal portion of the oviduct of immature rats and mature rats irrespective of the stage of the cycle. The luminal epithelium and the epithelium of the endometrial glands of uteri obtained from pro-oestrous and oestrous rats showed the presence of the specific peptidase. The luminal and glandular epithelium of immature rat uterus showed the appearance of endopeptidase 40 hr after the injection of oestradiol. The presence of the uterine fluid peptidase was observed in the endometrial glands on Day 5 of pregnancy. Immunofluorescence analysis of ejaculated spermatozoa recovered from the uterus soon after mating showed accumulation of the enzyme at the head region.
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