Author(s): Gouge RC, Marshburn P, Gordon BE, Nunley W, HuetHudson YM
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Abstract The role of nitric oxide (NO) in activation of cGMP is well established. It has been proposed that the ratio of cAMP to cGMP may be important in the regulation of preimplantation embryonic growth and differentiation. Therefore, we determined the ability of murine preimplantation embryos to produce NO. In addition, NO as an endogenous smooth muscle relaxant and vasodilator is a candidate for involvement in embryo implantation because this process requires increased vascular permeability and uterine quiescence at the sites of blastocyst apposition. Nitrite assays, an indirect measure of NO production, indicate that preimplantation murine embryos produce NO. This production was reversibly inhibited by culture of embryos in medium containing a nonspecific NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor (NG-nitro-L-arginine). Additionally, inhibition of normal development was observed in embryos cultured with NOS inhibitor. NO levels increased in culture medium when ovariectomized progesterone-treated animals were exposed to estrogen for 1 h in utero. Such hormonal treatment induces implantation. These data indicate that NO levels are regulated by estrogen and may be important in regulation of implantation. In addition, these data demonstrate for the first time that NO production appears to be required for normal embryonic development.
This article was published in Biol Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology