Summary Tubulointerstitial nephritis antigen-like 1 (TINAGL1) is a novel matricellular protein that interacts with structural matrix proteins and promotes cell adhesion and spreading. We have previously reported unique localization of TINAGL1 to the trophectoderm (TE) of mouse blastocysts. TINAGL1 was found to be upregulated in implantation-competent blastocysts after estrogen treatment using progesterone-treated delayed-implantation models. Moreover, colocalization of TINAGL1 and extracellular matrix (ECM) protein laminin 1 was detected in the Reichert membrane on embryonic days 6.5 and 7.5. Although these data suggested a role for TINAGL1 in the embryo development at postimplantation, its relevance to other ECM proteins during preimplantation development is not clear. In this study, we examined the expression of TINAGL1 and its relevance to other ECM proteins fibronectin (FN) and collagen type IV (ColIV) during in vivo development of preimplantation embryos, particularly at blastocyst stage in detail. Localizations of TINAGL1, FN, and ColIV were similar. In 1-cell to 8-cell embryos, they were expressed in cytoplasm of blastomeres, and in morulae they were localized in the outer cells. FN and ColIV were expressed primarily on outer surface of the cells. In blastocysts, FN and ColIV were distributed in the cytoplasm of TE, but, just prior to implantation, they became localized uniquely to the blastocoelic surface of TE. In in vitro fertilized (IVF) blastocysts, expression levels of TINAGL1 and FN were lower than in in vivo blastocysts. These results suggest that, during preimplantation development, TINAGL1 may be involved in roles of structural matrix proteins, whose expression in blastocysts may be affected by in vitro culture.
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