Stathmin, a cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics during cell-cycle progression, is abundantly expressed at embryo implantation sites in rats. Here, we characterized the expression of stathmin and its family genes in the murine uterus during the peri-implantation period. Stathmin protein was expressed in the glandular and luminal epithelium, blood vessels, and stromal cells on day 3 of pregnancy. On the day of implantation (day 5), stathmin was mainly localized in blood vessels in the endometrium. On day 7, intense stathmin expression was limited to capillary vessels and secondary decidual cells. Stathmin expression was higher at implantation sites than at uterine segments between implantation sites and increased during oil-induced decidualization. Although the artificially-induced deciduoma weights and number of implantation sites were similar between stathmin-knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice, the stathmin-KO mice had fewer newborn pups (reduced by 30%). The expression of alkaline phosphatase, desmin, and cyclin D3 was attenuated in decidual zones of stathmin-KO mice. Messenger RNA level of the stathmin family gene, SCG10, was high at the time of decidualization in WT and stathmin-KO mice. In contrast, the others of stathmin family members, SCLIP and RB3 were highly expressed in stathmin-KO mice compared to WT mice. These results suggest that stathmin and stathmin family genes are expressed in the murine endometrium with enhanced expression in the implantation or the decidualization process.
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