Temporal and spatial expression of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases during the natural ovulatory cycle of the mouse

D S Inderdeo, D R Edwards, V K Han, R Khokha

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The role of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in ovarian function has primarily been documented by studies that utilize hormone-primed animals. In this study, our objectives were to elucidate the spatiotemporal expression of individual TIMP genes during the natural ovulatory cycle, and to correlate these with specific biological events. Two models of spontaneous ovulation used were the murine estrous cycle and the first ovulation postpartum. Ovaries were collected from mice at diestrus, estrus, and metestrus, or at early and late proestrus, and from pregnant females on Days 17 and 18 of gestation (D17, D18) and within 24 or 48 h postpartum (PP1, PP2). We observed that TIMP-1 mRNA was elevated at early proestrus and D18 and was maximal at late proestrus and PP1. The TIMP-3 pattern was distinct from that of TIMP-1, maximal expression occurring at early proestrus and D17 and D18. In both models, TIMP-2 mRNA remained constant and at very low levels throughout ovulation. In situ hybridization localized TIMP-1 mRNA to the corpus luteum at D18 and PP1, and to oocytes at specific stages of follicular development. Expression of TIMP-1 in granulosa and thecal cells was not observed at any stage. Demonstrating a distinct distribution, TIMP-3 mRNA was localized to oocytes, thecal and granulosa cells of small and large follicles, and corpora lutea only at D17. These data suggest specific hormonal regulation of individual TIMP gene expression in the ovary associated with distinct physiological functions. We propose that in the natural ovulatory process, TIMP-1 is probably a factor that regulates corpus luteum regression while TIMP-3 is important in maintaining the structural integrity of the corpus luteum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-508
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996


  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Corpus Luteum
  • DNA Probes
  • Estrus
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovary
  • Ovulation
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases

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