High incidence of imperforate vagina in ADGRA3-deficient mice

Jone Marita Kvam, Maja Lind Nybo, Lola Torz, Riia Karolina Sustarsic, Kristian Høj Reveles Jensen, John Erik Nielsen, Hanne Frederiksen, Sarina Gadgaard, Katja Spiess, Steen Seier Poulsen, Jesper Skovhus Thomsen, Pamela Cowin, Martin Blomberg Jensen, Takeshi Kurita, Mette Marie Rosenkilde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Ten percent of the female population suffers from congenital abnormalities of the vagina, uterus, or oviducts, with severe consequences for reproductive and psychological health. Yet, the underlying causes of most of these malformations remain largely unknown. ADGRA3 (GPR125) is involved in WNT signaling and planar cell polarity, mechanisms vital to female reproductive tract development. Although ADGRA3 is a well-established spermatogonial stem cell marker, its role within the female urogenital system remains unclear.

RESULTS: In this study, we found Adgra3 to be expressed throughout the murine female urogenital system, with higher expression pre-puberty than after sexual maturation. We generated a global Adgra3-/- mouse line and observed imperforate vagina in 44% of Adgra3-/- females, resulting in distension of the reproductive tract and infertility. Ovarian morphology, plasma estradiol, ovarian Cyp19a1, and vaginal estrogen receptor α (Esr1) expression were unaffected. However, compared to controls, a significantly lower bone mineral density was found in Adgra3-/- mice. Whereas vaginal opening in mice is an estrogen-dependent process, 17β-estradiol treatment failed to induce vaginal canalization in Adgra3-/- mice. Furthermore, a marked reduction in vaginal and ovarian progesterone receptor expression was observed concomitant with an upregulation of apoptotic regulators Bcl2, Bid, and Bmf in adult Adgra3-/- females with a closed vagina.

CONCLUSIONS: Our collective results shed new insights into the complex mechanisms by which the adhesion receptor ADGRA3 regulates distal vaginal tissue remodeling during vaginal canalization via altered sex hormone responsiveness and balance in apoptotic regulators. This highlights the potential of ADGRA3 as a target in diagnostic screening and/or therapy for obstructive vaginal malformations in humans.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC biology
Volume22
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)77
Number of pages14
ISSN1741-7007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Female
  • Incidence
  • Vagina/abnormalities
  • Estrogens/metabolism
  • Uterus/metabolism
  • Estradiol/pharmacology

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