Regulation of complement-3 protein expression in human and mouse oviducts

Yin Lau Lee, Ana W.Y. Cheong, Wang Ngai Chow, Kai Fai Lee, William S.B. Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The human oviduct derived embryotrophic factor-3 (ETF-3) contains complement protein-3 (C3) and its derivates. Although C3 is not embryotrophic, it is converted into the embryotrophic derivative, iC3b in the presence of embryos and oviductal cells. The regulation of C3 production in the oviduct is not known. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of presence of preimplantation embryos and hormones on C3 expression in the oviducts in vitro and in vivo. The expression of C3 in the oviduct of pregnant mice was compared to that of pseudo-pregnant mice. The hormonal action on C3 expression was studied in the ovariectomized mouse oviducts and human oviductal epithelial (OE) cells. The results showed that the level of C3 mRNA in the mouse oviduct was high on day 1 and Day 2, but decreased toa minimum on day 4 of pregnancy, whereas that of pseudo-pregnancy remained relatively stable within the same period. The protein levels of C3 and iC3b specific fragments, α-115 and α-40, respectively in the mouse oviductal luminal fluid were highest on day 3 of pregnancy, when the embryos were expected to be most sensitive to the embryotrophic activity of ETF-3. Estrogen elevated C3 expression in the ovariectomized mouse oviduct and the OE cells. Progesterone suppressed estrogen-induced C3 expression in the mouse oviduct, but had no effect on OE cells. In conclusion, the presence of embryo and steroid hormones regulate the synthesis and secretion of oviductal C3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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