Ovarian steroid hormones, progesterone (P4), and estradiol (E2) strictly regulate the endometrial tissue remodeling required for successful embryo implantation. Indian hedgehog (Ihh) is up-regulated by P4 and critically mediates uterine receptivity in the mouse. However, the regulation of Ihh expression during the implantation period still remains unclear. The present study was conducted to elucidate the mechanism of the steroidal regulation in the expression of Ihh and Gli1, the mediator of the Ihh pathway. Ihh mRNA was expressed in the rat uterus on 3.5-5.5 days post-coitus (dpc), while Gli1 expression transiently increased at 3.5 dpc but decreased significantly on 5.5 dpc (P<0.001). In delayed implantation, the expression of Ihh was induced by the implantation-induced E2 treatment in the primed rat uterus. In contrast, expression of Gli1 was significantly decreased by E2 treatment (P=0.016). In the case of ICI182.780 (ICI) treatment, Ihh expression was eliminated by ICI, whilst Gli1 expression increased. These results suggest that Ihh expression is maintained at a high level until the initiation of implantation, while the expression of Gli1 is decreased just prior to the initiation of implantation depending on the E2 action. This observation aids in the understanding of the Ihh signaling pathway mediating uterine remodeling for implantation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology