Calcium ions have been implicated in the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, but the regulatory mechanisms of calcium ions in the uterine endometrium and conceptus are not well understood in pigs. Recently, we showed that TRPV6, a calcium ion channel protein associated with cellular entry of calcium ions, is highly expressed in the uterine endometrium during the implantation period in pigs. In the present study, we investigated spatial and temporal expression and regulation of TRPV6 and S100G, an intracellular calcium-regulatory molecule, in the uterine endometrium during the estrous cycle and pregnancy in pigs. TRPV6 expression was maintained at significantly higher levels in the uterine endometrium during pregnancy compared with levels during the estrous cycle. TRPV6 transcripts and proteins were localized mainly to luminal epithelial cells (LE) and weakly to glandular epithelial cells (GE) and chorionic membrane (CM) during pregnancy. TRPV6 expression was also detected in conceptuses on Day (D) 12 and D15. TRPV6 mRNA levels in the endometrium were increased by estrogen treatment. S100G expression showed a biphasic pattern of increases on D12 of pregnancy and from D60 to term pregnancy, and it localized primarily to LE during early pregnancy and to LE, GE, and CM from D30 to term pregnancy. These results indicate that spatial and temporal expression of TRPV6 and S100G is dynamically regulated in the uterine endometrium during pregnancy and that endometrial regulation of calcium ion concentration by TRPV6 and S100G may be critical for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in pigs.
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Vol. 81 • No. 6