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1 February 2012 Ciliary Activity in the Oviduct of Cycling, Pregnant, and Muscarinic Receptor Knockout Mice
Katharina Noreikat, Miriam Wolff, Wolfgang Kummer, Sabine Kölle
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The transport of the oocyte and the embryo in the oviduct is managed by ciliary beating and muscular contractions. Because nonneuronally produced acetylcholine influences ciliary beating in the trachea via the muscarinic receptors M2 and M3, we supposed that components of the cholinergic system may also modulate ciliary activity in the oviduct. To address this issue, we analyzed the expression profile of muscarinic receptors (CHRMs) in the murine oviduct by RT-PCR and assessed ciliary beat frequency (CBF) and cilia-driven particle transport speed (PTS) on the mucosal surface of opened oviductal segments in correlation with histomorphological investigations. RT-PCR of laser-assisted microdissected epithelium revealed expression of Chrm subtypes Chrm1 and Chrm3. In opened isthmic segments, particle transport was barely seen, correlating with a significantly lower number of ciliated cells compared to the ampulla. In the ampulla, basal PTS and CBF were high (71 μm/sec and 21 Hz, respectively) both in cycling and pregnant wild-type mice and in mice with targeted deletion of the Chrm genes Chrm1, Chrm3, Chrm4, and Chrm5. In contrast to the trachea, where basal ciliary activity was low and largely enhanced by muscarinic stimulation, muscarinic agonists and antagonists did not affect the high ampullar PTS. Our results imply that this high oviductal autonomous ciliary activity is independent from the intrinsic cholinergic system and serves to maintain optimal clearance of the tube throughout all stages of the estrous cycle and early pregnancy.

© 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Katharina Noreikat, Miriam Wolff, Wolfgang Kummer, and Sabine Kölle "Ciliary Activity in the Oviduct of Cycling, Pregnant, and Muscarinic Receptor Knockout Mice," Biology of Reproduction 86(4), (1 February 2012).
Received: 16 September 2011; Accepted: 1 January 2012; Published: 1 February 2012
ciliary transport
nonneuronal cholinergic system
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