We examined the gene expression of V-1, a novel soluble protein with the cdc10/SWI6 motif, in pseudopregnant rat ovaries. Northern blot analysis on days 1, 5, and 11 of pseudopregnancy revealed an approximately 2-fold increase in the V-1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression level on day 5 to that on day 1, and no significant change was observed between those on day 5 and day 11. An injection of human CG on day 5 further increased the V-1 mRNA level to about 1.6-fold of that of the untreated control. Western blot analysis showed higher V-1 protein expression on days 5 and 11 of pseudopregnancy than that on day 1. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry with ovaries on day 3 of pseudopregnancy showed that luteal cells of corpora lutea and also cells of the coexisting follicles including oocytes express V-1 mRNA and the protein, with apparent rank order of the expression: oocytes > luteal cells > follicular cells ≫ atretic follicular cells including oocytes. These data indicate the dynamic change in the V-1 gene expression in the ovarian steroidogenic cells and oocytes and suggest potential roles of the V-1 protein in ovarian functions including corpus luteum formation and folliculogenesis.
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