2004 Volume 50 Issue 5 Pages 515-523
Gene expressions and their interaction are complex and have not been definitely clarified in the placenta. To identify interactions of gene products previously not studied, we applied cDNA subtraction analyses to the placenta between days 12 and 16, days 12 and 14, days 14 and 16 of pregnancy. Among subtracted cDNAs cathepsin M, Q and R in PECs were specifically identified on days 14 and 16 pregnancy. All of these gene expressions exhibited a similar pattern to the mPL-II gene expression determined by northern blot and RT-PCR analyses. By means of in situ hybridization, these mRNAs were localized in the basal and labyrinth zones of the placenta on day 16 of pregnancy. Double staining studies of cathepsin Q or cathepsin R mRNA by in situ hybridization followed by immunohistochemical staining of mPL-II in the same section revealed that signals for cathepsin Q and cathepsin R mRNAs were colocalized in mPL-II immunopositive trophoblast cells in the basal and labyrinth zones of the placenta on day 16 of pregnancy. Possible association of cathepsins with mPL-II may play important roles in placental functions during the latter half of pregnancy in mice.