PTX3 plays a key role in the organization of the cumulus oophorus extracellular matrix and in in vivo fertilization

Antonietta Salustri, Cecilia Garlanda, Emilio Hirsch, Marika De Acetis, Alessia Maccagno, Barbara Bottazi, Andrea Doni, Antonio Bastone, Giovanna Mantovani, Paolo Beck Peccoz, Giovanni Salvatori, David J. Mahoney, Anthony J. Day, Gregorio Siracusa, Luigina Romani, Alberto Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PTX3 is a prototypic long pentraxin that plays a nonredundant role in innate immunity against selected pathogens and in female fertility. Here, we report that the infertility of Ptx3-/- mice is associated with severe abnormalities of the cumulus oophorus and failure of in vivo, but not in vitro, oocyte fertilization. PTX3 is produced by mouse cumulus cells during cumulus expansion and localizes in the matrix. PTX3 is expressed in the human cumulus oophorus as well. Cumuli from Ptx3-/- mice synthesize normal amounts of hyaluronan (HA), but are unable to organize it in a stable matrix. Exogenous PTX3 restores a normal cumulus phenotype. Incorporation in the matrix of inter-α-trypsin inhibitor is normal in Ptx3-/- cumuli. PTX3 does not interact directly with HA, but it binds the cumulus matrix hyaladherin tumor necrosis factor α -induced protein 6 (TNFAIP6, also known as TSG6) and thereby may form multimolecular complexes that can cross-link HA chains. Thus, PTX3 is a structural constituent of the cumulus oophorus extracellular matrix essential for female fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1586
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Cumulus oophorus
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fertility
  • Mouse
  • Pentraxins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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