Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) regulate luminal epithelial (LE) cell proliferation in the adult mouse uterus. This study tested the hypothesis that FGFR2 has a biological role in postnatal development and function of the uterus by conditionally deleting Fgfr2 after birth using progesterone receptor (Pgr)-Cre mice. Adult Fgfr2 mutant female mice were initially subfertile and became infertile with increasing parity. No defects in uterine gland development were observed in conditional Fgfr2 mutant mice. In the adult, Fgfr2 mutant mice possessed a histologically normal reproductive tract with the exception of the uterus. The LE of the Fgfr2 mutant uterus was stratified, but no obvious histological differences were observed in the glandular epithelium, stroma, or myometrium. Within the stratified LE, cuboidal basal cells were present and positive for basal cell markers (KRT14 and TRP63). Nulliparous bred Fgfr2 mutants contained normal numbers of blastocysts on Day 3.5 postmating, but the number of embryo implantation sites was substantially reduced on Day 5.5 postmating. These results support the idea that loss of FGFR2 in the uterus after birth alters its development, resulting in LE stratification and peri-implantation pregnancy loss.
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Vol. 90 • No. 1