Novel male exposure reduces uterine e-cadherin, increases uterine luminal area, and diminishes progesterone levels while disrupting blastocyst implantation in inseminated mice
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Exposure to novel male mice disrupts blastocyst implantation in inseminated female mice, and evidence increasingly implicates the female's absorption of male urinary estrogens. We observed implantation sites in male-exposed and isolated control female mice during gestation days (GD) 2-8, observing a significant reduction in male-exposed females compared to controls, particularly on GD 6 and 8. We also measured transitions in uterine luminal area and e-cadherin expression, as these processes are modulated by estrogens. Luminal area was greater in male-exposed females than in controls during the post-implantation period (GD 5-7). E-cadherin levels were suppressed by male exposure, particularly during GD 4-6 Serum progesterone levels were also reduced in male-exposed females. The effects of male exposure on uterine closure and e-cadherin levels are consistent with established effects of estrogens, and suggest a possible mechanism that could contribute to implantation failure. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Pregnancy and Steroids'.
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