Developmental expression of adenosine deaminase during decidualization in the rat uterus

L. Hong, J. Mulholland, J. M. Chinsky, T. B. Knudsen, R. E. Kellems, S. R. Glasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adenosine deaminase (ADA) is expressed in high concentrations at the fetal-maternal interface during postimplantation stages of gestation in the mouse. The experiments reported here were designed to identify the specific uterine cells that express ADA subsequent to implantation in the rat and to determine if embryonic cells contribute to ADA expression. The results of biochemical analysis demonstrate that ADA-specific activity increases to very high levels in implantation sites, beginning approximately 72 h after blastocyst attachment. Immunocytochemical analysis localized this ADA expression to the decidualized stromal cells in the antimesometrial region of the pregnant uterus. In experimentally induced deciduoma, these cells were capable of synthesizing high levels of both ADA and mRNA for ADA in the absence of embryos. The enzyme first appeared in decidual cell cytoplasm, approximately 72 h after induction of decidualization, and later was localized in the decidual cell nuclei. Since the expression of ADA and its mRNA in decidual cells follows the appearance of desmin, a protein marker for decidualization, by at least 48 h, ADA appears to be involved in the functioning of mature decidual cells rather than in stromal cell differentiation. The expression of ADA, but not desmin, was restricted to the antimesometrial decidual cells and decreased when these cells regressed. At mid-gestation ADA activity increased and was localized principally in the fetal placenta. The results presented here demonstrate that ADA is localized to the antimesometrial decidual cell and that its expression is consequent to differentiation of the uterine stromal cell and independent of any embryonic stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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