IMR Press / FBS / Volume 8 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S451

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Uterosomes: Exosomal cargo during the estrus cycle and interaction with sperm

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1 219 Mckinly Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19701

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Patricia Anastasia Martin-DeLeon

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2016, 8(1), 115–122;
Published: 1 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exosomes: their role in the reproductive tracts)

The term “uterosomes” was first used to classify extracellular membrane vesicles released into the uterine luminal fluid. These extracellular vesicles (EVs), varying in sizes, fit the classification of exosomes and microvesicles on the basis of size, the presence of the CD9 biochemical marker, and lateral orientation of the membrane. Uterosomes appear to be formed by the apocrine pathway, similar to other reproductive EVs. In the murine system, the protein cargo carried by uterosomes includes glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked and transmembrane proteins and these are hormonally regulated, appearing at high levels during proestrus/estrus and only marginally present at diestrus/metestrus. Uterosomes have been shown to deliver proteins in their cargo to sperm, with a functional impact, and are thought to participate in promoting sperm capacitation. Further studies are warranted, particularly those aimed at identifying the contents of their cargo during the estrus and menstrual cycle and the role they play n sperm maturation.

Sperm Proteome
Vesicular Protein Transfer
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