embryo implantation
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2022 ◽  
Vol 3 ◽  
Ana Carolina Cardoso dos Santos Durão ◽  
Wesley Nogueira Brandão ◽  
Vitor Bruno ◽  
Lídia Emmanuela W. Spelta ◽  
Stephanie de Oliveira Duro ◽  

The embryonic stage is the most vulnerable period for congenital abnormalities. Due to its prolonged developmental course, the central nervous system (CNS) is susceptible to numerous genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences. During embryo implantation, the CNS is more vulnerable to external influences such as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), increasing the risk for delayed fetal growth, sudden infant death syndrome, and immune system abnormalities. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of in utero exposure to ETS on neuroinflammation in the offspring of pregnant mice challenged or not with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). After the confirmation of mating by the presence of the vaginal plug until offspring birth, pregnant C57BL/6 mice were exposed to either 3R4F cigarettes smoke (Kentucky University) or compressed air, twice a day (1h each), for 21 days. Enhanced glial cell and mixed cell cultures were prepared from 3-day-old mouse pups. After cell maturation, both cells were stimulated with LPS or saline. To inhibit microglia activation, minocycline was added to the mixed cell culture media 24 h before LPS challenge. To verify the influence of in utero exposure to ETS on the development of neuroinflammatory events in adulthood, a different set of 8-week-old animals was submitted to the Autoimmune Experimental Encephalomyelitis (EAE) model. The results indicate that cells from LPS-challenged pups exposed to ETS in utero presented high levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and decreased cell viability. Such a proinflammatory environment could modulate fetal programming by an increase in microglia and astrocytes miRNA155. This scenario may lead to the more severe EAE observed in pups exposed to ETS in utero.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 943
Fen Sun ◽  
Hui Cai ◽  
Lunbo Tan ◽  
Dezhe Qin ◽  
Jian Zhang ◽  

Pregnancy loss (PL) is one of the common complications that women can experience during pregnancy, with an occurrence rate of 1 to 5%. The potential causes of pregnancy loss are unclear, with no effective treatment modalities being available. It has been previously reported that the level of miR-125b was significantly increased in placentas of PL patients. However, the role of miR-125b in the development of PL still remains unknown. In the current study, an miR-125b placenta-specific over-expression model was constructed by lentiviral transfecting zona-free mouse embryos followed by embryo transfer. On gestation day 15, it was observed that the placenta was significantly smaller in the miR-125b placenta-specific overexpression group than the control group. Additionally, the abortion rate of the miR-125b placenta-specific overexpression group was markedly higher than in the control group. The blood vessel diameter was larger in the miR-125b-overexpressing specific placenta. In addition, miR-125b-overexpressing HTR8 and JEG3 cell lines were also generated to analyze the migration and invasion ability of trophoblasts. The results showed that miR-125b overexpression significantly suppressed the migration and invasion ability of HTR8 and JEG3 cells. Overall, our results demonstrated that miR-125b can affect embryo implantation through modulating placenta angiogenesis and trophoblast cell invasion capacity that can lead to PL.

Farnaz Oghbaei ◽  
Reza Zarezadeh ◽  
Davoud Jafari-Gharabaghlou ◽  
Minoo Ranjbar ◽  
Mohammad Nouri ◽  

PLoS Genetics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 18 (1) ◽  
pp. e1010018
Jianghong Cheng ◽  
Jia Liang ◽  
Yingzhe Li ◽  
Xia Gao ◽  
Mengjun Ji ◽  

Approximately 75% of failed pregnancies are considered to be due to embryo implantation failure or defects. Nevertheless, the explicit signaling mechanisms governing this process have not yet been elucidated. Here, we found that conditional deletion of the Shp2 gene in mouse uterine stromal cells deferred embryo implantation and inhibited the decidualization of stromal cells, which led to embryonic developmental delay and to the death of numerous embryos mid-gestation, ultimately reducing female fertility. The absence of Shp2 in stromal cells increased the proliferation of endometrial epithelial cells, thereby disturbing endometrial epithelial remodeling. However, Shp2 deletion impaired the proliferation and polyploidization of stromal cells, which are distinct characteristics of decidualization. In human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs), Shp2 expression gradually increased during the decidualization process. Knockout of Shp2 blocked the decidual differentiation of hESCs, while Shp2 overexpression had the opposite effect. Shp2 knockout inhibited the proliferation of hESCs during decidualization. Whole gene expression profiling analysis of hESCs during the decidualization process showed that Shp2 deficiency disrupted many signaling transduction pathways and gene expression. Analyses of hESCs and mouse uterine tissues confirmed that the signaling pathways extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK), protein kinase B (AKT), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and their downstream transcription factors CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) and Forkhead box transcription factor O1 (FOXO-1) were involved in the Shp2 regulation of decidualization. In summary, these results demonstrate that Shp2 plays a crucial role in stromal decidualization by mediating and coordinating multiple signaling pathways in uterine stromal cells. Our discovery possibly provides a novel key regulator of embryo implantation and novel therapeutic target for pregnancy failure.

Cells ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 234
Veronika Kinterová ◽  
Jiří Kaňka ◽  
Alexandra Bartková ◽  
Tereza Toralová

SCF-dependent proteolysis was first discovered via genetic screening of budding yeast almost 25 years ago. In recent years, more and more functions of SCF (Skp1-Cullin 1-F-box) ligases have been described, and we can expect the number of studies on this topic to increase. SCF ligases, which are E3 ubiquitin multi-protein enzymes, catalyse protein ubiquitination and thus allow protein degradation mediated by the 26S proteasome. They play a crucial role in the degradation of cell cycle regulators, regulation of the DNA repair and centrosome cycle and play an important role in several diseases. SCF ligases seem to be needed during all phases of development, from oocyte formation through fertilization, activation of the embryonic genome to embryo implantation. In this review, we summarize known data on SCF ligase-mediated degradation during oogenesis and embryogenesis. In particular, SCFβTrCP and SCFSEL-10/FBXW7 are among the most important and best researched ligases during early development. SCFβTrCP is crucial for the oogenesis of Xenopus and mouse and also in Xenopus and Drosophila embryogenesis. SCFSEL-10/FBXW7 participates in the degradation of several RNA-binding proteins and thereby affects the regulation of gene expression during the meiosis of C. elegans. Nevertheless, a large number of SCF ligases that are primarily involved in embryogenesis remain to be elucidated.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Lu Zhang ◽  
Ying Li ◽  
Yi-Chao Dong ◽  
Chun-Yi Guan ◽  
Shi Tian ◽  

AbstractThe endometrium plays a critical role in embryo implantation and pregnancy, and a thin uterus is recognized as a key factor in embryo implantation failure. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) have attracted interest for the repair of intrauterine adhesions. The current study investigated the repair of thin endometrium in rats using the UC-MSCs and the mechanisms involved. Rats were injected with 95% ethanol to establish a model of thin endometrium. The rats were randomly divided into normal, sham, model, and UC-MSCs groups. Endometrial morphological alterations were observed by hematoxylin–eosin staining and Masson staining, and functional restoration was assessed by testing embryo implantation. The interaction between UC-MSCs and rat endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) was evaluated using a transwell 3D model and immunocytochemistry. Microarray mRNA and miRNA platforms were used for miRNA-mRNA expression profiling. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) analyses were performed to identify the biological processes, molecular functions, cellular components, and pathways of endometrial injury and UC-MSCs transplantation repair and real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to further identify the expression changes of key molecules in the pathways. Endometrium thickness, number of glands, and the embryo implantation numbers were improved, and the degree of fibrosis was significantly alleviated by UC-MSCs treatment in the rat model of thin endometrium. In vitro cell experiments showed that UC-MSCs migrated to injured ESCs and enhanced their proliferation. miRNA microarray chip results showed that expression of 45 miRNAs was downregulated in the injured endometrium and upregulated after UC-MSCs transplantation. Likewise, expression of 39 miRNAs was upregulated in the injured endometrium and downregulated after UC-MSCs transplantation. The miRNA-mRNA interactions showed the changes in the miRNA and mRNA network during the processes of endometrial injury and repair. GO and KEGG analyses showed that the process of endometrial injury was mainly attributed to the decomposition of the extracellular matrix (ECM), protein degradation and absorption, and accompanying inflammation. The process of UC-MSCs transplantation and repair were accompanied by the reconstruction of the ECM, regulation of chemokines and inflammation, and cell proliferation and apoptosis. The key molecules involved in ECM-receptor interaction pathways were further verified by qRT-PCR. Itga1 and Thbs expression decreased in the model group and increased by UC-MSCs transplantation, while Laminin and Collagen expression increased in both the model group and MSCs group, with greater expression observed in the latter. This study showed that UC-MSCs transplantation could promote recovery of thin endometrial morphology and function. Furthermore, it revealed the expression changes of miRNA and mRNA after endometrial injury and UC-MSCs transplantation repair processed, and signaling pathways that may be involved in endometrial injury and repair.

2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (1) ◽  
Kanmuna Ray Talukdar ◽  
Purbajyoti Saikia ◽  
Hirendra N. Sarma

Abstract Background Embryo implantation is a tightly regulated sequence of events regulated by ovarian steroids, estrogen and progesterone, and their downstream targets. Ovarian steroids regulate most of the genes involved in embryo implantation and pregnancy. However, some factors are not regulated by ovarian steroids, estrogen, progesterone, or both. Kruppel-like factor 5 (Klf5) is an example of an ovarian steroid–independent factor having a role in cellular proliferation, differentiation. The detailed expression profile of Klf5 during uterine receptivity and periimplantation has not been studied till now. In the present research work, an attempt was made to investigate the expression pattern of Klf5 in mice fetal-maternal tissue during periimplantation (day 4–day 8). The expressional and functional independence of Klf5 on the ovarian steroids was studied using estrogen and progesterone antagonist. The study was carried out in female Swiss albino mice of LACA strain during the periimplantation period. KLF5 was localized in the fetal-maternal tissues using the immunofluorescence technique in paraffin-embedded tissues. Ovarian steroid antagonists were administered subcutaneously from day 1 to day 3 of gestation, and the uterus was collected on the morning of day 4. Klf5 protein and mRNA levels were studied by western blot and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), respectively. Results KLF5 was localized in the embryo, uterine luminal epithelium, glandular epithelium, and proliferating stromal cells during periimplantation. In ovarian steroid antagonist–treated groups, KLF5 was localized in the luminal and glandular epithelium and stroma. Western blot and qPCR confirmed translation and transcription of KLF5 during the experimental period. The KLF5 protein level significantly increased on day 6, day 7, and day 8 when compared with day 4 (P < 0.05). The mRNA level of Klf5 increased significantly on day 7 and day 8 when compared with day 4 (P < 0.05). In ovarian steroid antagonist–treated groups, protein and mRNA corresponding to Klf5 were observed. From this finding, it can be assumed that Klf5 may be a steroid-independent factor expressed during uterine receptivity. Conclusion Spatiotemporal KLF5 expression in fetal-maternal tissue was observed during the experimental period. The results suggest that Klf5 is an ovarian steroid–independent factor that may play a pivotal role in implantation, decidualization, and embryogenesis.

Elina Aleksejeva ◽  
Natasa Zarovni ◽  
Keerthie Dissanayake ◽  
Kasun Godakumara ◽  
Paola Vigano ◽  

Abstract Mammalian conception involves a multitude of reciprocal interactions via a molecular dialogue between mother and conceptus. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted membrane-encapsulated particles that mediate cell-to-cell communication in various contexts. EVs, which are present in seminal, follicular, oviductal, and endometrial fluids, as well as in embryo secretions, carry molecular constituents that impact gamete maturation, fertilization, early embryo development, and embryo-maternal communication. The distribution, concentration, and molecular cargo of EVs are regulated by steroid hormones and the health status of the tissue of origin, and thus are influenced by menstrual phase, stage of conception, and the presence of infertility-associated diseases. EVs have been recognized as a novel source of biomarkers and potential reproductive medicine therapeutics, particularly for assisted reproductive technology (ART). There are still many technological and scientific hindrances to be overcome before EVs can be used in clinical diagnostic and therapeutic ART applications. Issues to be resolved include the lack of standardized measurement protocols and an absence of absolute EV quantification technologies. Additionally, clinically suitable and robust EV isolation methods have yet to be developed. In this review, we provide an overview of EV-mediated interactions during the early stages of reproduction from gamete maturation to embryo implantation and then outline the technological progress that must be made for EV applications to be translated to clinical settings.

2022 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
Marina Segura-Benítez ◽  
María Cristina Carbajo-García ◽  
Ana Corachán ◽  
Amparo Faus ◽  
Antonio Pellicer ◽  

Abstract Background Successful implantation is dependent on coordination between maternal endometrium and embryo, and the role of EVs in the required cross-talk cell-to-cell has been recently established. In this regard, it has been reported that EVs secreted by the maternal endometrium can be internalized by human trophoblastic cells transferring their contents and enhancing their adhesive and invasive capacity. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate three EV isolation methods on human endometrial epithelial cells in culture and to describe the proteomic content of EVs secreted by pHEECs from fertile women. Methods Ishikawa cells and pHEECs were in vitro cultured and hormonally treated; subsequently, conditioned medium was collected and EVs isolated. Ishikawa cells were used for the comparison of EVs isolation methods ultracentrifugation, ExoQuick-TC and Norgen Cell Culture Media Exosome Purification Kit (n = 3 replicates/isolation method). pHEECs were isolated from endometrial biopsies (n = 8/replicate; 3 replicates) collected from healthy oocyte donors with confirmed fertility, and protein content of EVs isolated by the most efficient methodology was analysed using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. EV concentration and size were analyzed by nanoparticle tracking analysis, EV morphology visualized by transmission electron microscopy and protein marker expression was determined by Western blotting. Results Ultracentrifugation was the most efficient methodology for EV isolation from medium of endometrial epithelial cells. EVs secreted by pHEECs and isolated by ultracentrifugation were heterogeneous in size and expressed EV protein markers HSP70, TSG101, CD9, and CD81. Proteomic analysis identified 218 proteins contained in these EVs enriched in biological processes involved in embryo implantation, including cell adhesion, differentiation, communication, migration, extracellular matrix organization, vasculature development, and reproductive processes. From these proteins, 82 were selected based on their functional relevance in implantation success as possible implantation biomarkers. Conclusions EV protein cargos are implicated in biological processes related to endometrial receptivity, embryo implantation, and early embryo development, supporting the concept of a communication system between the embryo and the maternal endometrium via EVs. Identified proteins may define new biomarkers of endometrial receptivity and implantation success.

2022 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
Erika Prašnikar ◽  
Tanja Kunej ◽  
Mario Gorenjak ◽  
Uroš Potočnik ◽  
Borut Kovačič ◽  

Abstract Background Women with uterine adenomyosis seeking assisted reproduction have been associated with compromised endometrial receptivity to embryo implantation. To understand the mechanisms involved in this process, we aimed to compare endometrial transcriptome profiles during the window of implantation (WOI) between women with and without adenomyosis. Methods We obtained endometrial biopsies LH-timed to the WOI from women with sonographic features of adenomyosis (n=10) and controls (n=10). Isolated RNA samples were subjected to RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) by the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 platform and endometrial receptivity classification with a molecular tool for menstrual cycle phase dating (beREADY®, CCHT). The program language R and Bioconductor packages were applied to analyse RNA-seq data in the setting of the result of accurate endometrial dating. To suggest robust candidate pathways, the identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with the adenomyosis group in the receptive phase were further integrated with 151, 173 and 42 extracted genes from published studies that were related to endometrial receptivity in healthy uterus, endometriosis and adenomyosis, respectively. Enrichment analyses were performed using Cytoscape ClueGO and CluePedia apps. Results Out of 20 endometrial samples, 2 were dated to the early receptive phase, 13 to the receptive phase and 5 to the late receptive phase. Comparison of the transcriptomics data from all 20 samples provided 909 DEGs (p<0.05; nonsignificant after adjusted p value) in the adenomyosis group but only 4 enriched pathways (Bonferroni p value < 0.05). The analysis of 13 samples only dated to the receptive phase provided suggestive 382 DEGs (p<0.05; nonsignificant after adjusted p value) in the adenomyosis group, leading to 33 enriched pathways (Bonferroni p value < 0.05). These included pathways were already associated with endometrial biology, such as “Expression of interferon (IFN)-induced genes” and “Response to IFN-alpha”. Data integration revealed pathways indicating a unique effect of adenomyosis on endometrial molecular organization (e.g., “Expression of IFN-induced genes”) and its interference with endometrial receptivity establishment (e.g., “Extracellular matrix organization” and “Tumour necrosis factor production”). Conclusions Accurate endometrial dating and RNA-seq analysis resulted in the identification of altered response to IFN signalling as the most promising candidate of impaired uterine receptivity in adenomyosis.

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