Nitric oxide synthase distribution during implantation in the mouse

T. L. Purcell, R. Given, K. Chwalisz, R. E. Garfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


The peri-implantation period is a critical time during murine development. Although the importance of nitric oxide has been demonstrated during gestation, its role in implantation has not been fully defined. The aim of this study was to quantify (by Western blotting) two prominent nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms, inducible (iNOS) and endothelial (eNOS) and localize all three forms [iNOS, eNOS, and neuronal (nNOS)] by immunohistochemistry in uterine tissue from days 4 through 8 of pregnancy. By day 6, iNOS values were significantly elevated in implantation sites compared with interimplantation regions and continued to rise through day 8. Analysis of eNOS was similar, but implantation site values peaked by days 6 and 7. Labelled iNOS cells were within the decidua, around myometrial vessels, and within the ectoplacental cone. At implantation, eNOS was conspicuous, displaying label adjacent to the embryo in vessels of the primary decidual zone. nNOS was localized mainly in the mesometrium and myometrium and did not appear to change throughout the peri-implantation period. The increased iNOS and eNOS values following implantation in the embryonic site may imply roles in tissue remodelling, immunosuppression and vasoregulation. Nitric oxide may play an important role in the mechanisms of implantation where these factors are keys to successful pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Decidua
  • Embryo
  • Implantation
  • Mouse
  • Nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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