In adult mammals, the principal function of the uterus is to support the development of the embryo during pregnancy. The uterine tissue consists of the luminal and glandular epithelia, stroma, and myometrium. During development, the Müllerian duct differentiates to form the luminal and glandular epithelia of the uterus. The urogenital ridge that surrounds the Müllerian duct gives rise to the connective tissue stroma and the myometrium. The luminal epithelium and the stroma together constitute the endometrium. Waves of cell proliferation, differentiation, and remodeling in the pubertal animals prepare the endometrium for embryo implantation and establishment of pregnancy. Although the cellular events that regulate various phases of uterine biology during the reproductive cycles and pregnancy are well described, the molecular pathways that underlie these processes are largely unknown. However, during the past several years, with the advent and continued refinement of the gene knockout and knockin technologies, transgenic mice have become extremely useful tools for determining the functional roles of molecules involved in various aspects of uterine physiology. Creation of several mouse models by gene targeting and homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells and extensive analysis of the reproductive phenotypes of the mutant mice have generated an initial blueprint of the pathways that are involved in normal uterine development and establishment of pregnancy. In this chapter, we provide a brief description of these transgenic models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Endometrium
Subtitle of host publicationMolecular, Cellular and Clinical Perspectives, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780203091500
ISBN (Print)0415385830, 9780415385831
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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