Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for

  • Author: Yoshiko Tanaka x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

Mika Suzuki, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Yoshiko Tanaka, Naohiro Kanayama and Toshihiko Terao

Bikunin, a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor, is found in blood and urine. It has been established by two laboratories independently that the bikunin knockout female mice display a severe reduction in fertility: the cumulus oophorus has a defect in forming the extracellular hyaluronan-rich matrix during expansion. Proteins of the inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor (ITI) family are eliminated in mice in which the bikunin gene has been inactivated, since bikunin is essential for their biosynthesis. Proteins of the ITI family may contribute to the microenvironment in which ovulation takes place. It is not clear, however, whether a single mechanism affects the reproductive function including ovulation. For identifying the full repertoire of the ITI deficiency-related genes, a cDNA microarray hybridization screening was conducted using mRNA from ovaries of wild-type or bik −/− female mice. A number of genes were identified and their regulation was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR analysis. Our screen identified that 29 (0.7%) and 5 genes (0.1%) of the genes assayed were, respectively, up- and down-regulated twofold or more. The identified genes can be classified into distinct subsets. These include stress-related, apoptosis-related, proteases, signaling molecules, aging-related, cytokines, hyaluronan metabolism and signaling, reactive oxygen species-related, and retinoid metabolism, which have previously been implicated in enhancing follicle development and/or ovulation. Real-time RT-PCR analysis confirmed that these genes were up- and down-regulated two- to tenfold by bikunin knockout. These studies demonstrate that proteins of the ITI family may exert potent regulatory effects on a major physiological reproductive process, ovulation.