Image_2_Nuclear Progesterone Receptor Expressed by the Cortical Thymic Epithelial Cells Dictates Thymus Involution in Murine Pregnancy.jpeg
Progesterone is a gonadal pro-gestational hormone that is absolutely necessary for the success of pregnancy. Most notable actions of progesterone are observed in the female reproductive organs, the uterus and the ovary. Acting through the nuclear progesterone receptor (PGR), progesterone prepares the endometrium for implantation of the embryo. Interestingly, the maternal thymus also is a known expressor of Pgr; its absence is associated with murine pregnancy complications. However, the localization of its expression and its functional importance were not known. Here, we used a transgenic dual fluorescent reporter mouse model and genetic deletion of Pgr in Foxn1+ thymic epithelial cells (TEC) to demonstrate TEC-specific Pgr expression in pregnancy, especially in the cortex where thymocyte maturation occurs. Using our TEC-specific Pgr deletion mouse model, we demonstrate that TEC-specific Pgr is necessary for pregnancy-induced thymic involution in pregnancy. Our investigation reveals that PGR expression is upregulated in the cortical thymic epithelial cells during pregnancy, and that PGR expression is important for thymic involution during murine pregnancy.