Cervical expression of hyaluronan synthases varies with the stage of the estrous cycle in the ewe

K. Perry, W. Haresign, D. C. Wathes, A. A. Pitsillides, M. Khalid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The natural cervical relaxation which occurs at estrus in the ewe may be initiated by binding of hyaluronan (HA) to its receptor CD44. Indeed, we have previously shown that HA content and fragment size in the ovine cervix varies with the stage of the estrous cycle. Despite the importance of cervical relaxation in promoting sperm transport and facilitating the possible development of transcervical artificial insemination (AI), the mechanisms coordinating these changes in HA content remain to be defined. Hyaluronan synthases (HAS) 1, 2, and 3 regulate HA biosynthesis and herein, we describe the changing pattern of HAS isoform expression during the estrous cycle to determine whether this may underpin HA-mediated changes in relaxation of the ovine cervix. Accordingly, cervices were collected from 24 cyclic sheep (n = 8 / group) at the luteal, pre-luteinizing hormone (LH) and post-LH surge stages. Protein and mRNA expression for HAS 1, 2 and 3 was determined in five different tissue layers (epithelium, subepithelial stroma, and longitudinal, circular and transverse muscle) of the vaginal, mid and uterine regions of each cervix by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, respectively. HA synthases were expressed in all the tissue layers and regions of the cervix, and the pattern of expression was similar for mRNA and protein. HAS1 protein and mRNA expression was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher at the pre-LH surge stage, while HAS 2 and 3 protein and mRNA expression was significantly (P ≤ 0.001) higher at the luteal stage. Overall, both HAS protein and mRNA expression was significantly (P ≤ 0.001) higher in the epithelial layer and the vaginal region. These findings are in accordance with our previous results and explain the differences observed in the HA content and differing HA fragment size at different stages of the estrous cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1110
Number of pages11
JournalTheriogenology
Volume77
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2012

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