Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is considered important for blastocyst spacing, implantation, and decidualization in rodent uteri. PGE synthase (PGES) catalyzes the isomerization of PGH2 to PGE2. Two isoforms of PGES exist: microsomal PGES (mPGES) and cytosolic PGES (cPGES); however, the expression and regulation of cPGES in the mammalian uterus during early pregnancy are still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the differential expression of cPGES in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under different conditions using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. A strong level of cPGES mRNA signal was exhibited in the stromal cells at the implantation site on Day 5 of pregnancy, whereas cPGES immunostaining was strongly detected in the luminal epithelium. The signals for both cPGES mRNA and immunostaining were strongly detected in the decidualized cells from Days 6–8 of pregnancy. A basal level of cPGES mRNA signal and immunostaining was exhibited in the uterus in delayed implantation. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implantation was initiated, cPGES mRNA signal was strongly detected in the stroma underlying the luminal epithelium at the implantation site, and cPGES immunostaining was strongly observed in the luminal epithelium surrounding the implanting blastocyst. A strong cPGES mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in decidualized cells under artificial decidualization, whereas only a basal level of cPGES mRNA signal and immunostaining were observed in the control horn. Our data suggest that cPGES may play an important role during implantation and decidualization.
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