Stanniocalcin 1 (STC1) is a glycoprotein that decreases calcium and increases phosphate in cells/ tissues. This investigation examined endocrine regulation of STC1 in endometria of pigs during the estrous cycle and pregnancy. STC1 mRNA was present exclusively in luminal epithelium (LE) between d 12 and 15 of the estrous cycle, increased between d 12 and d 20, and was not detectable by d 30 of pregnancy. STC1 protein was also detected in uterine flushings. To determine effects of estrogen and progesterone, pigs were ovariectomized and treated with these hormones alone or together. Progesterone, but not estrogen, induced STC1 in LE. Cotreatment with progesterone and estrogen further stimulated STC1 over progesterone alone. To determine effects of pseudopregnancy, nonpregnant gilts were given daily injections of estradiol benzoate from d 11 to d 14. STC1 was not expressed in LE on d 90 of pseudopregnancy, suggesting that the estradiol given to induce pseudopregnancy and/or long-term exposure to progesterone are required for down-regulation of STC1. To determine effects of long-term progesterone, without effects of estradiol, pigs were ovariectomized on d 12, given daily injections of progesterone through d 39, and hysterectomized on d 40 after estrus. STC1 was expressed in LE of progesterone-treated pigs, suggesting that estrogen is involved in down-regulation of STC1. We conclude that STC1 is induced in LE by progesterone and further stimulated by estrogen, and its down-regulation in LE by d 25 likely requires exposure of the progestinized uterus to estrogen. The temporal and cell type-specific expression of STC1 makes this gene a unique marker for implantation in pigs.
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