MiR-21 in extracellular vesicles contributes to the growth of fertilized eggs and embryo development in mice.
ABSTRACT: Human preimplantation embryo development is susceptible to high rates of early embryo wastage. We determined the miR-21 expression of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in fertilized eggs and embryos of varying stages and their response to miR-21 microinjection. Sexually mature female and male mice were mated. Next, the expression and immunohistochemistry intensity of surface markers (CD9 and CD63) of EVs were detected in pregnant and non-pregnant mice. Exosomes were co-cultured with embryos for detection of blastocyst formation rate, and embryo apoptosis. Moreover, the expressions of Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax), B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), and octamer-binding transcription factor-4 (Oct4) were determined. Finally, we detected miR-21 expression in EVs of uterus in pregnant mice, in embryos after embryo implantation and after embryo co-cultured with exosomes in uterine luminal fluid. MiR-21 was up-regulated in EVs of uterus, and higher immunohistochemistry intensity of CD9 and CD63, suggesting more EVs secreted in uterine luminal fluid in pregnant mice. After microinjection, miR-21 inhibitor suppresses embryo development of mice. Moreover, embryos co-cultured with exosomes display higher blastocyst formation rate, reduced apoptotic rate of embryos in pregnant mice. In addition, miR-21 was down-regulated with the development of embryos after embryo implantation, while miR-21 expression in embryos was up-regulated by exosomes in uterine luminal fluid in the pregnant mice. Increased miR-21 expression in EVs of uterus and increased miR-21 expression after implantation, which indicate the key role in the growth of fertilized eggs and embryo development in mice.
Project description:The role of extracellular vesicles (EVs), specifically exosomes, in intercellular communication likely plays a key role in placental orchestration of pregnancy and maternal immune sensing of the fetus. While murine models are powerful tools to study pregnancy and maternal-fetal immune interactions, in contrast to human placental exosomes, the content of murine placental and pregnancy exosomes remains largely understudied. Using a recently developed in vitro culture technique, murine trophoblast stem cells derived from B6 mice were differentiated into syncytial-like cells. EVs from the conditioned media, as well as from pregnant and non-pregnant sera, were enriched for exosomes. The RNA composition of these murine trophoblast-derived and pregnancy-associated exosome-enriched-EVs (ExoE-EVs) was determined using RNA-sequencing analysis and expression levels confirmed by qRT-PCR. Differentially abundant miRNAs were detected in syncytial differentiated ExoE-EVs, particularly from the X chromosome cluster (mmu-miR-322-3p, mmu-miR-322-5p, mmu-miR-503-5p, mmu-miR-542-3p, and mmu-miR-450a-5p). These were confirmed to be increased in pregnant mouse sera ExoE-EVs by qRT-PCR analysis. Interestingly, fifteen miRNAs were only present within the pregnancy-derived ExoE-EVs compared to non-pregnant controls. Mmu-miR-292-3p and mmu-miR-183-5p were noted to be some of the most abundant miRNAs in syncytial ExoE-EVs and were also present at higher levels in pregnant versus non-pregnant sera ExoE-EVs. The bioinformatics tool, MultiMir, was employed to query publicly available databases of predicted miRNA-target interactions. This analysis reveals that the X-chromosome miRNAs are predicted to target ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and intracellular signaling pathways. Knowing the cargo of placental and pregnancy-specific ExoE-EVs as well as the predicted biological targets informs studies using murine models to examine not only maternal-fetal immune interactions but also the physiologic consequences of placental-maternal communication.
Project description:The mammalian Msx homeobox genes, Msx1 and Msx2, encode transcription factors that control organogenesis and tissue interactions during embryonic development. We observed overlapping expression of these factors in uterine epithelial and stromal compartments of pregnant mice prior to embryo implantation. Conditional ablation of both Msx1 and Msx2 in the uterus resulted in female infertility due to a failure in implantation. In these mutant mice (Msx1/2(d/d)), the uterine epithelium exhibited persistent proliferative activity and failed to attach to the embryos. Gene expression profiling of uterine epithelium and stroma of Msx1/2(d/d) mice revealed an elevated expression of several members of the Wnt gene family in the preimplantation uterus. Increased canonical Wnt signaling in the stromal cells activated ?-catenin, stimulating the production of a subset of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) in these cells. The secreted FGFs acted in a paracrine manner via the FGF receptors in the epithelium to promote epithelial proliferation, thereby preventing differentiation of this tissue and creating a non-receptive uterus refractory to implantation. Collectively, these findings delineate a unique signaling network, involving Msx1/2, Wnts, and FGFs, which operate in the uterus at the time of implantation to control the mesenchymal-epithelial dialogue critical for successful establishment of pregnancy.
Project description:Exosomes and microvesicles are extracellular vesicles released from cells and can contain lipids, miRNAs and proteins that affect cells at distant sites. Recently, microvesicles containing miRNA have been implicated in uterine microenvironment of pigs, a species with unique epitheliochorial (non-invasive) placentation. Here we report a novel role of conceptus-derived exosomes/microvesicles (hereafter referred to as extracellular vesicles; EVs) in embryo-endometrial cross-talk. We also demonstrate the stimulatory effects of EVs (PTr2-Exo) derived from porcine trophectoderm-cells on various biological processes including the proliferation of maternal endothelial cells (PAOEC), potentially promoting angiogenesis. Transmission immuno-electron microscopy confirmed the presence of EVs in tissue biopsies, PTr2-Exo and PAOEC-derived EVs (PAOEC-Exo). RT-PCR detected 14 select miRNAs in CD63 positive EVs in which miR-126-5P, miR-296-5P, miR-16, and miR-17-5P were the most abundant angiogenic miRNAs. Proteomic analysis revealed EV proteins that play a role in angiogenesis. In-vitro experiments, using two representative cell lines of maternal-fetal interface, demonstrated bidirectional EVs shuttling between PTr2 and PAOEC cells. Importantly, these studies support the idea that PTr2-Exo and PAOEC-Exo containing select miRNAs and proteins can be successfully delivered to recipient cells and that they may have a biological role in conceptus-endometrial cross-talk crucial for the pregnancy success.
Project description:Embryo-maternal crosstalk is an important event that involves many biological processes, which must occur perfectly for pregnancy success. This complex communication starts from the zygote stage within the oviduct and continues in the uterus up to the end of pregnancy. Small extracellular vesicles (EVs) are part of this communication and carry bioactive molecules such as proteins, lipids, mRNA, and miRNA. Small EVs are present in the oviductal and uterine fluid and have important functions during fertilization and early embryonic development. Embryonic cells are able to uptake oviductal and endometrium-derived small EVs. Conversely, embryo-derived EVs might modulate oviductal and uterine function. In this review, our aim is to demonstrate the role of extracellular vesicles modulating embryo-maternal interactions during early pregnancy.
Project description:AIM:This study analyzed microvesicles and exosomes, called as extracellular vesicles (EVs) excreted in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with cerebral or gestational toxoplasmosis. METHODS:Clinical samples from 83 individuals were divided into four groups. Group I, 20 sera from healthy individuals and pregnant women (seronegative for toxoplasmosis); group II, 21 sera from seropositive patients for toxoplasmosis (cerebral or gestational forms); group III, 26 CSF samples from patients with cerebral toxoplasmosis/HIV co-infection (CT/HIV) (seropositive for toxoplasmosis); and group IV, 16 CSF samples from seronegative patients for toxoplasmosis, but with HIV infection and other opportunistic infections (OI/HIV). Serum and CSF samples were ultracentrifuged to recover EVs. Next, vesicle size and concentration were characterized by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). RESULTS:Concentrations of serum-derived EVs from toxoplasmosis patients (mean: 2.4 x 1010 EVs/mL) were statically higher than of non-infected individuals (mean: 5.9 x 109 EVs/mL). Concentrations of CSF-derived EVs were almost similar in both groups. CT/HIV (mean: 2.9 x 109 EVs/mL) and OI/HIV (mean: 4.8 x 109 EVs/mL). Analyses by NTA confirmed that CSF-derived EVs and serum-derived EVs had size and shape similar to microvesicles and exosomes. The mean size of EVs was similar in serum and CSF. Thus, the concentration, and not size was able distinguish patients with toxoplasmosis than healthy individuals. Presence of exosomes was also confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and evidence of tetraspanins CD63 and CD9 in immunoblotting. Relative expressions of miR-146a-5p, miR-155-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-29c-3p and miR-125b-5p were estimated in exosomal miRNA extracted of EVs. Serum-derived EVs from group II (cerebral and gestational toxoplasmosis) up-expressed miR-125b-5p and miR-146a-5p. CSF-derived EVs from CT/HIV patients) up-expressed miR-155-5p and miR-21-5p and were unable to express miR-29c-3p. CONCLUSION:These data suggest the participation of EVs and exosomal miRNAs in unbalance of immune response as elevation of TNF-?, IL-6; and downregulation of IFN-? in cerebral and gestational forms of toxoplasmosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are a set of highly conserved proteins, Hsp105, has been suggested to play a role in reproduction. METHODS: Spatio-temporal expression of Hsp105 in rat uterus during peri-implantation period was examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot, pseudopregnant uterus was used as control. Injection of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to Hsp105 into pregnant rat uteri was carried out to look at effect of Hsp105 on embryo implantation. RESULTS: Expression of Hsp105 was mainly in the luminal epithelium on day 1 of pregnancy, and reached a peak level on day 5, whereas in stroma cells, adjacent to the implanting embryo, the strongest expression of Hsp105 was observed on day 6. The immunostaining profile in the uterus was consistent with that obtained by Western blot in the early pregnancy. In contrast, no obvious peak level of Hsp105 was observed in the uterus of pseudopregnant rat on day 5 or day 6. Furthermore, injection of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to Hsp105 into the rat uterine horn on day 3 of pregnancy obviously suppressed the protein expression as expected and reduced number of the implanted embryos as compared with the control. CONCLUSION: Temporal and spatial changes in Hsp105 expression in pregnant rat uterus may play a physiological role in regulating embryo implantation.
Project description:Receptivity is a limited time in which uterine endometrium can establish a successful dialogue with blastocyst. This study was to investigate the effect of asynchronous embryo transfer on uterine receptivity in mice. Embryos under different stages were transferred into two oviduct sides of a recipient mouse on day 1 of pseudopregnancy. Our results showed the asynchronously transferred embryos can implant in all groups. Compared to zygote-transfer group, the length of implanted embryos is longer in 8-cell embryo- or blastocyst-transfer group. The levels of Snail and COX-2 immunostaining in blastocyst-transfer group are significantly stronger than that in zygote-transfer group. Embryos in blastocyst-transfer group migrate faster than that in zygote-transfer group within uterus. Blastocysts are in a state of developmental delay after they are transferred into oviducts, and they are reactivated and implanted rapidly in uterus. The developmental rate to newborn in zygote-transfer group is obviously higher than that in blastocyst-transfer group, suggesting that a delay in embryo development and implantation will lead to a decrease of litter size. These results indicated that the window of implantation is differentially regulated in two uterine horns of a recipient by embryos at different stages.
Project description:Gap junctions have an important role in cell-to-cell communication, a process obviously required for embryo implantation. Uterine luminal epithelium (LE) is the first contact for an implanting embryo and is critical for the establishment of uterine receptivity. Microarray analysis of the LE from peri-implantation mouse uterus showed low-level expression of 19 gap junction proteins in preimplantation LE and upregulation of gap junction protein, beta 2 (GJB2, connexin 26, Cx26) in postimplantation LE. Time course study using in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence revealed upregulation of GJB2 in the LE surrounding the implantation site before decidualization. Similar dynamic expression of GJB2 was observed in the LE of artificially decidualized mice but not pseudopregnant mice. To determine the potential function of uterine gap junctions in embryo implantation, carbenoxolone (CBX), a broad gap junction blocker, was injected i.p. (100 mg/kg) or via local uterine fat pad (10 mg/kg) into pregnant mice on Gestation Day 3 at 1800 h, a few hours before embryo attachment to the LE. These CBX treatments disrupted embryo implantation, suggesting local effects of CBX in the uterus. However, i.p. injection of glycyrrhizic acid (100 mg/kg), which shares similar structure and multiple properties with CBX but is ineffective in blocking gap junctions, did not affect embryo implantation. Carbenoxolone also inhibited oil-induced artificial decidualization, concomitant with suppressed molecular changes and ultrastructural transformations associated with uterine preparation for embryo implantation, underscoring the adverse effect of CBX on uterine preparation for embryo implantation. These data demonstrate that uterine gap junctions are important for embryo implantation.
Project description:Aberrant regulation of uterine cell growth can lead to endometrial cancer and infertility. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen-induced uterine cell growth, we removed the estrogen receptor ? (Esr1) from mouse uterine stromal cells, where the embryo is implanted during pregnancy. Without ESR1 in neighboring stroma cells, epithelial cells that line the inside of the uterus are unable to grow due to a lack of growth factors secreted from adjacent stromal cells. Moreover, loss of stromal ESR1 caused mice to deliver fewer pups due in part due to inability of some embryos to implant in the uterus, indicating that stromal ESR1 is crucial for uterine cell growth and pregnancy.
Project description:Toxoplasmosis can cause abortion in pregnant humans and other animals; however, the mechanism of abortion remains unknown. C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5) is essential for host defense against Toxoplasma gondii infection. To investigate the relationship between CCR5 and abortion in toxoplasmosis, we inoculated wild-type and CCR5-deficient (CCR5-/-) mice with T. gondii tachyzoites intraperitoneally on day 3 of pregnancy (embryonic day 3 [E3]). The pregnancy rate decreased as pregnancy progressed in infected wild-type mice. Histopathologically, no inflammatory lesions were observed in the fetoplacental tissues. Although wild-type mice showed a higher parasite burden at the implantation sites than did CCR5-/- mice at E6 (3 days postinfection [dpi]), T. gondii antigen was detected only in the uterine tissue and not in the fetoplacental tissues. At E8 (5 dpi), the embryos in infected wild-type mice showed poor development compared with those of infected CCR5-/- mice, and apoptosis was observed in poorly developed embryos. Compared to uninfected mice, infected wild-type mice showed increased CCR5 expression at the implantation site at E6 and E8. Furthermore, analyses of mRNA expression in the uterus of nonpregnant and pregnant mice suggested that a lack of the CCR5 gene and the downregulation of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) and CCL3 expression at E6 (3 dpi) are important factors for the maintenance of pregnancy following T. gondii infection. These results suggested that CCR5 signaling is involved in embryo loss in T. gondii infection during early pregnancy and that apoptosis is associated with embryo loss rather than direct damage to the fetoplacental tissues.