Signaling mechanisms coordinating uterine angiogenesis and tissue remodeling during decidualization are not completely understood. Prostanoid signaling is thought to play a functionally important role in each of these events. In the present study, we demonstrate that the subfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors that binds and becomes activated by the terminal signaling lipid in the sphingolipid pathway, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), were expressed during uterine decidualization. Three of the five known S1P receptors, termed endothelial differentiation genes (Edg; Edg1, Edg3, and Edg5) were upregulated in the uterine deciduum from Day of Pregnancy (DOP) 4.5 to 7.5, while Edg6 and Edg8 expression remained unchanged. Consistent with angiogenesis in general during decidualization, we believe EDG1 and EDG5 to be regulated by the embryo because no microvascular expression for these receptors was observed in oil-induced deciduomas. Observed expression of EDG1 and EDG5 showed a similar expression pattern to that previously reported for prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), transitioning from the sublumenal stromal compartment in the antimesometrial pole (DOP 5) to the microvasculature of the mesometrial pole (DOP 7). Furthermore, these two receptors colocalized with PTGS2 at three additional sites at the maternal:fetal interface throughout pregnancy. Treatment of cultured predecidualized stromal cells with S1P resulted in upregulation of Ptgs2 mRNA and PTGS2 protein, but not the downstream enzyme prostacyclin synthase. These combined results suggest the existence of a link between the sphingolipid and prostanoid signaling pathways in uterine physiology, and that, based on their expression pattern, S1P receptors function to coordinate uterine mesometrial angiogenesis during the implantation phase of early gestation.
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