Implantation-induced changes in uterine arylamidase localization in the rabbit, rat, hamster and guinea-pig

in Reproduction

Summary. Localization of uterine arylamidase activity varied between species: arylamidase was found primarily in the apical aspect of uterine epithelial cells in the rabbit, hamster and non-pregnant rat; only moderate staining was observed in these animals in the endometrial stroma. By contrast, arylamidase localization was primarily stromal in the guinea-pig at all stages studied while the luminal epithelium was devoid of reactivity. In all species, uterine enzyme activity increased before implantation but decreased in the vicinity of the blastocyst once implantation had begun. A generalized increase over the entire length of the uterus was seen during the preimplantation phase in the uterine epithelium of the rabbit and in the endometrial stroma of the guinea-pig. Increase in stromal activity appeared to indicate predecidual transformations which were embryo-dependent (i.e. localized to the implantation site) in the rat, or embryo-independent (i.e. occurring throughout the uterus) in the guinea-pig. A subsequent decrease in enzyme activity occurred in the vicinity of the implanting embryo irrespective of the cell type involved (epithelium in the rabbit, stroma/decidua in the rat and guinea-pig). Since arylamidases of the type studied here are integrated membrane proteins, the uniformity of changes observed in different species may reflect profound changes in membrane properties of endometrial cells as an element of the implantation reaction.

Keywords: uterus; arylamidase; aminopeptidase; implantation; epithelium; stroma

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