Production of calcium maintenance factor stanniocalcin-1 (STC1) by the equine endometrium during the early pregnant period

Masato Kikuchi, Yasuko Nakano, Yasuo Nambo, Shingo Haneda, Motozumi Matsui, Yoichi Miyake, James N. Macleod, Kentaro Nagaoka, Kazuhiko Imakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A factor responsible for progression to pregnancy establishment in the mare has not been definitively characterized. To identify factors possibly involved in the establishment of equine pregnancy, the endometrium was collected from day 13 (day 0=day of ovulation) cyclic and day 13, 19 and 25 pregnant animals. From initial subtractive hybridization studies, a calcium regulating factor, Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1) mRNA, was found as a candidate molecule expressed uniquely in the pregnant endometrium. Endometrial expression of STC1 mRNA was noted on day 19 and was markedly increased in the day 25 gravid endometrium. STC1 protein was found in the extracts of day 25 gravid endometrium and immunochemically localized in the uterine glands. In addition, STC1 protein was detected in uterine flushing media collected from day 25 pregnant mares. High concentrations of estradiol-17β (E2) were detected in day 25 conceptuses. E2 levels were much higher in the gravid endometrium than in other regions, whereas progesterone levels did not differ among the samples from different endometrial regions. Expression of STC1 mRNA, however, was not significantly upregulated in cultured endometrial explants treated with various concentrations of E2 (0.01-100 ng/ml) with or without 10 ng/ml progesterone. These results indicate that an increase in STC1 expression appears to coincide with capsule disappearance in the conceptus, and suggest that STC1 from the uterine glands likely plays a role in conceptus development during the pregnancy establishment period in the mare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Estradiol-17β
  • Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1)
  • Uterine secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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