Adiponectin and adiponectin receptors in the mouse preimplantation embryo and uterus

S. T. Kim, K. Marquard, S. Stephens, E. Louden, J. Allsworth, K. H. Moley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background Adiponectin (Adipoq), a protein secreted by adipocytes in inverse proportion to the adipose mass present, modulates energy homeostasis and increases insulin sensitivity. Tissue Adipoq signaling decreases in settings of maternal diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, conditions which are associated with reproductive difficulty. Our objective was to define the expression and hormonal regulation of Adipoq and its receptors in the mouse preimplantation embryo and uterus. Methods AND RESULTSBy real-time quantitative PCR, mRNA transcripts for Adipoq, AdipoR1, AdipoR2, Ppara, Ppard, FATP1 (SLC27A1) and acyl CoA oxidase (Acox1) were identified in mouse 2-cell and 8-cell embryos, while blastocyst stage embryos and trophoblast stem (TS) cells expressed mRNA for all genes except Adipoq. Protein expression of Adipoq, AdipoR1, AdipoR2, the insulin sensitive transporters GLUT8 (Slc2A8), GLUT12 (Slc2A12) and p-PRKAA1 was identified by immunofluorescence staining in all stages of preimplantation embryos including the blastocyst. In situ hybridization demonstrated the presence of Adipoq, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 mRNA in the mouse decidual cells of the implantation site and in artificially decidualized cells, and the expression of these proteins was confirmed by western blotting. Flow cytometry confirmed cell surface expression of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 in TS cells and decidual cells. Conclusions These results suggest for the first time that Adipoq signaling may play an important role in preimplantation embryo development and uterine receptivity by autocrine and paracrine methods in the mouse. Implantation failures and pregnancy loss, specifically those experienced in women with maternal metabolic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and PCOS, may be the result of aberrant Adipoq and AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 expression and suboptimal decidualization in the uterus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-95
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • adiponectin
  • adiponectin receptor
  • decidua
  • preimplantation embryo
  • uterus


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