Expression of the c-fms proto-oncogene and of the cytokine, CSF-1, during mouse embryogenesis
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The c-fms gene encodes the cell surface receptor of the colony-stimulating factor, CSF-1. CSF-1 has recently been shown to be expressed in the maternal uterine endometrium of pregnant mice. The ontogenetic and spatial patterns of expression of the murine proto-oncogene c-fms were analyzed in the developing mouse placenta by the technique of in situ hybridization. c-fms expression was not detected in fetally derived tissues until 9.5 days postcoitum (pc) when expression first appeared in the mural trophoblast giant cells. Expression persisted at high levels in trophoblast cells throughout gestation. In the mature placenta from 13.5 days pc on, c-fms was expressed chiefly in the spongiotrophoblast layer and, to a lesser extent, in the labyrinthine trophoblast. CSF-1 expression was first detectable in the uterine epithelium at 8.5 days pc which loosely correlated with the appearance at 7.5 days of c-fms in the decidual cells around the developing egg cylinder. The time course and spatial pattern of expression of these two genes suggest a functional role for the c-fms receptor and its ligand, CSF-1, in trophoblast development and differentiation.
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