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Alpha-tocopherol transfer protein is specifically localized at the implantation site of pregnant mouse uterus.

Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Health Chemistry, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, 113-0033 Tokyo, Japan.
Biology of Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.45). 09/2002; 67(2):599-604.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alpha-tocopherol transfer protein (alpha-TTP) was first described to play a major role in maintaining alpha-tocopherol levels in plasma, while alpha-tocopherol was primarily reported to be a factor relevant for reproduction. Expression of alpha-TTP is not only seen in the liver, from where it was first isolated, but also in mouse uterus, depending on its state of pregnancy, stressing the importance of alpha-TTP for embryogenesis and fetal development. The cellular localization of alpha-TTP in mouse uterus is reported here. By immunohistochemistry, alpha-TTP could be localized in the secretory columnar epithelial cells of the pregnant uterus on Days 4.5 and 6.5 postcoitum as well as in the glandular epithelial cells and the inner decidual reaction zone surrounding the implantation site. On Days 8.5 and 10.5 postcoitum (midterm of mouse pregnancy), alpha-TTP could still be detected in the uterine secretory columnar epithelial cells, while in alpha-TTP knockout mice, no immunostaining was visible. It is suggested that alpha-TTP plays a major role in supplying the placenta and consecutively the fetus with alpha-tocopherol throughout pregnancy. We conclude that alpha-tocopherol plays a role in the process of implantation and that alpha-TTP may be necessary for adequate alpha-tocopherol status of the fetus.

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