Transport systems of gametes and embryo in mammalian oviducts
Oviduct is an important organ as a site for sperm capacitation, fertilization and early embryonic development. It is also the pathway of gametes and embryo connecting the ovary to the uterus. In spite of the essential organ for establishment of pregnancy, regulating mechanisms of oviductal function are unclear.
Our aim is to clarify the physiological mechanisms which control the oviductal functions.
Spontaneous contraction of oviduct is necessary for transport of gametes and embryos, since it produces peristaltic movement. Oviduct contains endogeneous pulse generator for contraction called as “pacemaker”. Pacemaker cells generate rhythmic spontaneous deporalization leading to the contraction of smooth muscle cells. In our project, the factors involved in spontaneous contraction are investigated using bovine oviductal tissues. In additon, we also try to identify the pacemaker cell in mammalian oviducts.