Circadian rhythms are modulated in a variety of peripheral tissues, including in the uterus where endometrial stromal cells (UESCs) undergo proliferation and differentiation (decidualization) during gestation. Here the authors focused on circadian rhythms in UESCs during implantation and decidualization in rodents. As revealed by analyses of cultured UESCs from pregnant Per2 promoterdLuc transgenic rats, Per2 oscillation of ∼24h was observed in response to dexamethasone. Per2 oscillation was enhanced in UESCs during implantation, whereas they were attenuated during decidualization. In vivo studies showed that PER2 protein in the uteri displayed a peak at zeitberger time 4 (ZT 4) (day 4.50 of gestation) and a trough at ZT 12 (day 4.83), indicating its circadian rhythmicity. Conversely, no significant circadian rhythm of the PER2 protein was observed during decidualization. Fluorescent immunohistochemical studies also supported circadian rhythmicity of the PER2 protein in its intracellular distribution. In accordance with Per2 mRNA expression, a circadian rhythm of vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegf) gene expression, having several E-box or E-boxlike sites at the upstream of the transcription start site, was observed during implantation, showing a peak at ZT 0 and a trough at ZT 12. In contrast, Vegf mRNA expression displayed no circadian rhythm during decidualization. Collectively, the present results prove that Per2 oscillation is down-regulated in UESCs during decidualization. It is strongly suggested that cellular differentiation in UESCs interferes with circadian clockwork.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)