Mouse uterine glands during the peri-implantation period. II. Autoradiographic studies

R. L. Given, A. C. Enders

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Protein synthesis and secretion in mouse uterine glands during the peri-implantation period were studied, by both light and electron microscopic autoradiography, after the in vivo administration of tritiated leucine (3H-leucine) and proline (3H-proline). Light microscopic autoradiography revealed that the time course of synthesis and secretion of labeled proteins was constant during days 4, 5, and 6 of pregnancy. Labeled material could be detected in the glandular lumen by 45 minutes after administration and in higher concentrations by 90 minutes after administration. Analysis of electron microscopic autoradiographs from days 5 and 6 of pregnancy showed that high levels of activity were initially present over the rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes and subsequently declined at the longer time intervals (45 and 90 minutes), while activity over the glandular lumen increased with time. The pathway of intracellular transport to the glandular lumen appeared to be via small cytoplasmic vesicles on both days 5 and 6 of pregnancy. Additional pathways for transport of the labeled protein to the glandular lumen appeared to be present in the form of the large vesicles on day 5 and granules on day 6 of pregnancy. Throughout the peri-implantation period, mouse uterine glands were active secretory structures in which the mode of secretion was similar to other exocrine cells. Thus, the uterine glands of the mouse must be considered a source of uterine fluid proteins at the time of implantation that may contribute to quantitative changes in these proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anatomy

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