Phospholipase C-related but catalytically inactive protein (comprising PRIP-1 and PRIP-2 [officially designated PLCL1 and PLCL2]) was first identified in our laboratory, but the biological functions have remained elusive. Therefore, we generated Plcl1 and Plcl2 double-knockout mice (Plcl1tm1Mh; Plcl2tm1Tta) to gain insight into the biological function. Double-knockout mice apparently grew normally and became fertile; however, during animal maintenance, we noticed that mutant couples exhibited decreased litter events and litter size, indicating dysfunction of the reproductive system. Cross-mating experiments to discriminate whether males or females were defective indicated that the cause appeared to be on the female side. Mutant female mice had an apparently smaller uterus by gross anatomical observation and had more estrous days during the cycles. Levels of serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone were measured for 5–6 consecutive days and were significantly higher in the mutant, which was also confirmed by examining the secretion of LH from the explant culture of anterior pituitary glands of wild-type and double-knockout mice. These results suggest that through gonadotropin secretion, PRIP plays an important role in female reproduction.
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Vol. 81 • No. 4