Matrix metalloproteinase-28 transcript and protein are expressed in rhesus monkey placenta during early pregnancy.
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The role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), especially newly described MMP, in trophoblast invasion during human embryo implantation is poorly understood. In this report, using a model of early pregnancy in the rhesus monkey, we have examined the expression and localization of the most recently identified MMP, MMP-28/epilysin, transcript and protein in macaque uterine samples on days 12, 18 and 26 of pregnancy. MMP-28 mRNA expression was shown by in-situ hybridization after day 12 of pregnancy, and both the syncytial and the cytotrophoblastic cell layers of placental villi, the cytotrophoblast cells of the trophoblastic column, and the extravillous trophoblast cells of trophoblastic shell were primary producers of MMP-28 transcript. Expression of MMP-28 mRNA was undetectable in the endovascular trophoblast cells, decidual cells, luminal and glandular epithelium, arterioles, and myometrium. RT-PCR analysis amplified a fragment of 258 nucleotides from rhesus monkey uterine samples containing implantation sites on days 18 and 26. The cDNA fragment, following sequencing, was confirmed to be part of the haemopexin-like domain of MMP-28. It has 95% identity with the corresponding region of human MMP-28 gene. Immunohistochemical analysis further demonstrated that the localization of MMP-28 protein was similar to that of its mRNA. The restricted distribution pattern of this novel MMP in the villous and extravillous trophoblasts during rhesus monkey early pregnancy suggests a potential role in trophoblast invasion associated with embryo implantation.