University of Florida

William C. Buhi, Ph.D.

The overall objectives of our program are to increase our knowledge of oviduct and uterine function. These dynamic tissues undergo estrogen- and progesterone-induced biochemical and physiological changes during the estrous and menstrual cycle and early cleavage-stages of development. In particular, these changes provide the essential in vivo microenvironment for final maturation of gametes, fertilization, and early embryonic development. Major aims are to understand the complex composition of oviduct secretions, identify and characterize oviduct secreted proteins, determine the control of expression of these proteins, and determine their possible paracrine and autocrine interactions with the oviduct and gametes, during fertilization and on the zygote and embryo during early cleavage-stages of embryonic development.

Previous studies from this laboratory have identified at least 14 major proteins expressed and released by the oviduct, many of which have been found in oviduct luminal fluid. Eight of these have been further characterized and localized and include the estrogen-dependent, oviduct-specific glycoprotein (OGP), tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 complement component C3b, the carboxy-terminal end of propro alpha 1 type III collagen, and the heavy chain of immunoglobulin A. Electron microscopy studies have shown several of these glycoproteins to associate with the oocyte and embryo. Pig OGP, cloned in this laboratory, is conserved across species, shown to associate with the zona pellucida, perivitelline space and plasma membrane of oocytes and embryos. Functional studies indicate that OGP may maintain viable sperm, enhance sperm binding, decrease polyspermy, and regulate development in preimplantation embryos. Major studies are presently underway to purify the individual members of the OGP family and define which of those are responsible for the various activities with sperm, oocyte, or early embryo.

Representative Publications:
Buhi WC. 2002. Characterization and biological roles of oviduct-specific, oestrogen-dependent glycoprotein. Reproduction 123:355-362.

Kouba AJ, Abeydeera LR, Alvarez IM, Day BN, Buhi WC. 2000. Effects of porcine oviduct-specific glycoprotein (pOSP) on fertilization, polyspermy and embryonic development in vitro. Biol. Reprod. 63:242-250.

Kouba AJ, Burkhardt BR, Alvarez IM, Goodenow MM, Buhi WC. 2000. Oviductal plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1:mRNA, protein and hormonal regulation during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy in the pig. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 56:378-386.

Kouba AJ, Alvarez IM, Buhi WC. 2000. Identification and localization of plasminogen activator (PAI) -1 within the porcine oviduct. Biol. Reprod. 62:501-510.

Buhi WC, Alverez IM, Kouba AJ. 2000. Secreted proteins of the oviduct. In, "Embryonic Coats". Cells Tissues Organs 166:165-179.

Binelli M, Hampton J, Buhi WC, Thatcher WW. 1999. Effect of a persistent follicle on oviductal secretory proteins at estrus. Biol. Reprod. 61:127-134.

Buhi WC, Alvarez IM, Pickerd AR, Ashworth CJ, McIntush EW, Kouba AJ,Smith MF. 1997. Synthesis of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and expression of mRNA by the oviduct of ovariectomized steroid-treated, cyclic, and early pregnant gilts. Biol. Reprod. 57:7-15. 

Return to top


William C. Buhi, Ph.D.
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Animal Sciences
Ph.D., University of Florida