The amniotic epithelium is in direct contact with the amniotic fluid and restricts fluid flux via the paracellular pathway by means of tight junctions (TJs). Several factors affect TJs to modulate the paracellular flux. Progesterone contributes to the antenatal formation and disappearance of TJs in uterine and mammary epithelial tissues. In this study, we investigated whether progesterone positively or negatively influences amniotic TJs. The administration of RU-486, a progesterone receptor (PR) antagonist, into pregnant mice adversely affects the localization and expression of claudin-3 and claudin-4 in the amniotic epithelium. RU-486 administration also increased the permeability of the amniotic membrane. In organ-cultured amniotic membranes, progesterone induced increases in claudin-3 and claudin-4 expression in a dose-dependent manner but did not influence their localization. PRs were also present in the amniotic epithelium during midpregnancy but they disappeared during late pregnancy. These results indicate that the progesterone/PR pathway maintains TJs in the amniotic epithelium during midpregnancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology