Estrogen and Progesterone work in an opposing manner to regulate embryo transport in the oviduct by governing the oviductal fluid flow, ciliary activity, and muscle contractility.
Estrogen acts through estrogen receptors (ESRs), transcription factors, that subsequently modulate target gene expression in a tissue specific manner. ESR1 (or ESR alpha) is the major ESR subtype regulating physiological responses in the female reproductive tract.
Loss of estrogen receptor alpha (Esr1) in epithelial cells of the female reproductive tract led to sperm transport defect (left), embryo death before 2-cell stage (top), and implantation defect (right, data not shown).
Highlighted Research Articles
A lack of estrogen receptor alpha or ESR1 in the epithelial cells of the uterus causes sperm transport defect in a mouse model. This defect is partly due to a gooey material in the semen is not being digested and has led to the immobilization of sperm. PDF
Estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in the uterine stromal cell is required for proliferation of uterine epithelial cells. Ki67 immunohistochemical analysis shows that epithelial cells undergo proliferation only when ESR1 is present in the stromal layer underneath. PDF
In mammals, the oviduct hosts the embryos while they are developing. At the same time, the oviduct also transports the embryos to the uterus for implantation. We found that female mice lacking estrogen receptor alpha in the epithelial cell lining had embryo transport defect. PDF
In the mouse oviduct, expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) is required for embryo survival. Loss of ESR1 in the oviductal epithelial cells leads to embryo death before 2-cell stage. PDF
Highlighted Review Articles
Oviduct: Roles in Fertilization and Early Embryo Development. This review highlights the physiological conditions within the oviduct during fertilization, environmental regulation, oviductal fluid composition and its role in protecting embryos and supplying nutrients. Finally, the review compares different aspects of naturally occurring fertilization and assisted reproductive technology (ART)-achieved fertilization and embryo development, giving insight into potential areas for improvement in this technology. PDF
What’s new in estrogen receptor action in the female reproductive tract. In this review, we briefly outline the current understanding of estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) mediated mechanisms in the context of the female reproductive system. PDF