Successful ovulation and implantation processes play a crucial role in female fertility. Adamts-1, a matrix metalloproteinase with disintegrin and thrombospondin motifs, has been suggested to be regulated by the progesterone receptor in the hormonal pathway leading to ovulation. With the primary aim of investigating the role of Adamts-1 in female fertility, we generated Adamts-1 null mice. Forty-five percent of the newborn Adamts-1 null mice die, with death most likely caused by a kidney malformation that becomes apparent at birth. Surviving female null mice were subfertile, whereas males reproduced normally. Ovulation in null females was impaired because of mature oocytes remaining trapped in ovarian follicles. No uterine phenotype was apparent in Adamts-1 null animals. Embryo implantation occurred normally, the uteri were capable of undergoing decidualization, and no morphological changes were observed. These results demonstrate that a functional Adamts-1 is required for normal ovulation to occur, and hence the Adamts-1 gene plays an important role in female fertility, primarily during the tissue remodeling process of ovulation.
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