Glycine receptor ?4 subunit facilitates the early embryonic development in mice. uri icon


  • Oviduct fluid is essential for the fertilization and subsequent preimplantation development. Glycine is abundant in oviduct fluid and is reported to be critical for preimplantation development of fertilized eggs in mammals. However, the mechanism by which glycine exerts its action on fertilized eggs is yet to be understood. Here we show that glycine regulates the preimplantation development of mouse fertilized eggs via glycine receptors. Among them, the alpha-4 subunit (Glra4) and the ? subunit are expressed in mouse fertilized eggs, and lacking Glra4 inhibits embryonic development to the blastocyst stage, decreases the number of cells in the blastocysts and the litter size. Thus, we identify a novel function of the glycine receptor, which is considered to act mainly as a neurotransmitter receptor, as a regulator of embryonic development and our data provide new insights into the interactions between oviduct milieu and mammalian fertilized egg.

publication date

  • January 2020