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Gap junctional intercellular coupling allows cells to share low molecular weight metabolites and second messengers, thus facilitating homeostatic and developmental processes. Gap junctions make their appearance very early in rodent development, during compaction in the eight-cell stage. Surprisingly, preimplantation mouse embryos lacking the gap junction(More)
Implantation of the mammalian embryo requires profound endometrial changes for successful pregnancy, including epithelial–mesenchymal transition of the luminal epithelium and stromal–epithelial transition of the stromal cells resulting in decidualization. Claudins (Cldn) determine the variability in tight junction paracellular permeability and may play a(More)
BACKGROUND In order to further distinguish unique from general functions of connexin43, we have generated mice in which the coding region of connexin43 was replaced by that of connexin26. RESULTS Heterozygous mothers showed impaired mammary gland development responsible for decreased lactation and early postnatal death of the pups which could be partially(More)
More than 97% of mice in which the C-terminal region of connexin43 (Cx43) was removed (designated as Cx43K258stop) die shortly after birth due to a defect of the epidermal barrier. The abnormal expression of Cx43K258stop protein in the uppermost layers of the epidermis seems to perturb terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. In contrast to Cx43-deficient(More)
A precise regulation of angiogenesis is a prerequisite for an adequate maturation of ovarian follicles. Despite the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by granulosa cells in antral follicles, angiogenesis is restricted to the theca cell layer. The maturing follicle remains avascular before ovulation, implying regulatory mechanisms which(More)
Maternal effect genes code for oocyte proteins that are important for early embryogenesis. Transcription in oocytes does not take place from the onset of meiotic progression until zygotic genome activation. During this period, protein levels are regulated posttranscriptionally, for example by poly(A) tail length. Posttranscriptional regulation may be(More)
BACKGROUND During the female reproductive cycle, follicular development and corpus luteum formation crucially depend on the fast generation of new blood vessels. The importance of granulosa cells and follicular fluid in controlling this angiogenesis is still not completely understood. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) produced by granulosa cells and(More)
Delayed ovulation and delayed fertilization can lead to reduced developmental competence of the oocyte. In contrast to the consequences of postovulatory aging of the oocyte, hardly anything is known about the molecular processes occurring during oocyte maturation if ovulation is delayed (preovulatory aging). We investigated several aspects of oocyte(More)
In the past three decades, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been increasingly used in obstetrics to aid diagnostics of maternal and fetal conditions and has generally been considered a safe imaging method. However, the development of higher-performance systems employing, for example, stronger fields to improve the technique's diagnostic potential,(More)