Medycyna Wet. 62 (7), 766-768, 2006
Weber P., Kojs M., Semik D., Romek M., Karasiński J.
Gap junction proteins in nonpregnant porcine myometrium
The aim of this study was to analyse the expression of gap junction proteins, connexins, in non-pregnant porcine myometrium. Uterine tissue was obtained immediately after slaughter of the animals and the examination of ovarian morphology. Tissues were collected from prepubertal and mature pigs at preovulatory and secretory phases of the oestrous cycle and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Cryosections were immunofluorescently labelled using antibodies against connexins 26, 32, 40 and 43. Among four connexins studied, only connexin 43 was detected in the myometrium of the immature and adult porcine uterus. Connexin 43 labelling appeared as bright fluorescent spots distributed along smooth muscle cell interfaces. The amount of labelling for Cx43 was much higher in the circular layer than in the longitudinal layer in all prepubertal and mature porcine myometria. These results support the concept that connexin 43 is the principal connexin expressed in the nonpregnant myometrium. Furthermore, it seems that muscle layer-specific distribution of connexin 43 gap junctions may contribute to diverse functions of circular and longitudinal smooth muscles in modulating uterine motility.
Keywords: connexin, myometrium, pig