Regulation of embryo implantation by nitric oxide in mouse Academic Article uri icon


  • Intrauterine injection and zymography were used to investigate the effect of nitric oxide (NO) on embryo implantation in mice. On day 3, one uterine horn of female pregnant mice was injected intraluminally with various doses of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), while the contralateral horn served as control. Animals were sacrificed by cervical dislocation on day 7 of gestation, and the number of implanted embryos in each horn was calculated. The results showed that lower doses (0.05 mg L-NAME) did not inhibit implantation significantly (P > 0.05), but high doses (0.2 mg L- NAME) resulted in a significant reduction in the number of implanted embryos (P < 0.05). Co-administration of SNP, a generator of NO, with L-NAME would reverse the antiimplantation effect of L-NAME. To further understand the precise mechanism of NO in implantation, matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) activities were detected by gelatin zymography. The reduction in the number of implanted embryos in 0.2 mg L-NAME treated group was associated with decreased MMP-9 activity but a stable MMP-2 activity. The activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were not changed in L-NAME and SNP treated group. These data suggest that NO acts as a mediator to regulate the activity of MMP-9, and facilitates embryo implantation.

published proceedings

  • Science Bulletin

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, X., Wang, H., Lin, H., Li, Q., Liu, D., Qian, D., Liu, G., & Zhu, C.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • September 2002