Control of regional decidualization in implantation: Role of FoxM1 downstream of Hoxa10 and cyclin D3.
ABSTRACT: Appropriate regulation of regional uterine stromal cell decidualization in implantation, at the mesometrial triangle and secondary decidual zone (SDZ) locations, is critical for successful pregnancy, although the regulatory mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this regard, the available animal models that would specifically allow mechanistic analysis of site-specific decidualization are strikingly limited. Our study found that heightened expression of FoxM1, a Forkhead box transcription factor, is regulated during decidualization, and its conditional deletion in mice reveals failure of implantation with regional decidualization defects such as a much smaller mesometrial decidua with enlarged SDZ. Analysis of cell cycle progression during decidualization both in vivo and in vitro demonstrates that the loss of FoxM1 elicits diploid cell deficiency with enhanced arrests prior to mitosis and concomitant upregulation of polyploidy. We further showed that Hoxa10 and cyclin D3, two decidual markers, control transcriptional regulation and intra-nuclear protein translocation of FoxM1 in polyploid cells, respectively. Overall, we suggest that proper regional decidualization and polyploidy development requires FoxM1 signaling downstream of Hoxa10 and cyclin D3.
Project description:Uterine decidualization, a key event for successful implantation, is critically controlled by stromal cell proliferation and differentiation. One hallmark event of decidualization is the acquisition of stromal cell polyploidy through terminal differentiation at the anti-mesometrial pole of the implantation site. Hoxa-10, a developmentally regulated homeobox transcription factor, is highly expressed in decidualizing stromal cells, and targeted deletion of Hoxa-10 in mice shows severe decidualization defects, primarily due to reduced stromal cell responsiveness to progesterone. However, the underlying molecular mechanism by which Hoxa-10 regulates this process remains largely unknown. Here, we show that Hoxa-10 deficiency confers diminished core cell cycle activity during stromal cell proliferation without disturbing polyploidy, suggesting that these events depend on local regulators that impact cell cycle machinery. To further address this question, we compared global gene expression profiles in uteri of wild-type and Hoxa-10(-/-) mice after inducing decidualization. Our studies show two major aspects of decidualization downstream of Hoxa-10. First, Hoxa-10 deficiency results in the aberrant region-specific expression of cyclin-dependent kinase-4 (cdk4) and -6 (cdk6), growth differentiation factor 10 (Gdf10), hepatocyte growth factor (Hgf) and Snail2. Second, Hoxa-10 deficiency compromises natural killer (NK) cell differentiation without altering trafficking of NK precursor cells during decidualization. Collectively, the results provide evidence that Hoxa-10 influences a host of genes and cell functions necessary for propagating normal decidual development during the post-implantation period.
Project description:During intrauterine life, the mammalian embryo survives via its physical connection to the mother. The uterine decidua, which differentiates from stromal cells after implantation in a process known as decidualization, plays essential roles in supporting embryonic growth before establishment of the placenta. Here we show that female mice lacking death effector domain-containing protein (DEDD) are infertile owing to unsuccessful decidualization. In uteri of Dedd-/- mice, development of the decidual zone and the surrounding edema after embryonic implantation was defective. This was subsequently accompanied by disintegration of implantation site structure, leading to embryonic death before placentation. Polyploidization, a hallmark of mature decidual cells, was attenuated in DEDD-deficient cells during decidualization. Such inefficient decidualization appeared to be caused by decreased Akt levels, since polyploidization was restored in DEDD-deficient decidual cells by overexpression of Akt. In addition, we showed that DEDD associates with and stabilizes cyclin D3, an important element in polyploidization, and that overexpression of cyclin D3 in DEDD-deficient cells improved polyploidization. These results indicate that DEDD is indispensable for the establishment of an adequate uterine environment to support early pregnancy in mice.
Project description:Cellular polyploidy has been widely reported in nature, yet its developmental mechanism and function remain poorly understood. In the present study, to better define the aspects of decidual cell polyploidy, we isolated pure polyploid and non-polyploid decidual cell populations from the in vivo decidual bed. Three independent RNA pools prepared for each population were then subjected to the Affymetrix gene chip analysis for the whole mouse genome transcripts. Our data revealed up-regulation of 1015 genes and down-regulation of 1207 genes in the polyploid populations, as compared to the non-polyploid group. Comparative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization results indeed confirmed differential expressional regulation of several genes between the two populations. Based on functional enrichment analyses, up-regulated polyploidy genes appeared to implicate several functions, which primarily include cell/nuclear division, ATP binding, metabolic process, and mitochondrial activity, whereas that of down-regulated genes primarily included apoptosis and immune processes. Further analyses of genes that are related to mitochondria and bi-nucleation showed differential and regional expression within the decidual bed, consistent with the pattern of polyploidy. Consistently, studies revealed a marked induction of mitochondrial mass and ATP production in polyploid cells. The inhibition of mitochondrial activity by various pharmacological inhibitors, as well as by gene-specific targeting using siRNA-mediated technology showed a dramatic attenuation of polyploidy and bi-nucleation development during in vitro stromal cell decidualization, suggesting mitochondria play a major role in positive regulation of decidual cell polyploidization. Collectively, analyses of unique polyploidy markers and molecular signaling networks may be useful to further characterize functional aspects of decidual cell polyploidy at the site of implantation.
Project description:ATF6α, one of the sensor proteins in the stress signaling pathway of the endoplasmic reticulum, is located in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. To date, the physiological function of ATF6α in the process of embryo implantation has not been reported.In this study, the expression pattern of ATF6α in the mouse uterus during peri-implantation and the estrous cycle was detected by real-time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry.ATF6α mRNA and protein levels were higher in the uterus near the implantation site on day 5 and were intensely expressed in the secondary decidual zone (SDZ) on days 7-8. In the uteri of pseudopregnant mice, ATF6α mRNA and protein levels were lower on day 5 than on other days. The activating blastocyst and artificial decidualization had an obvious effect of increasing the expression of ATF6α. In addition, the expression of ATF6α was affected by progesterone (P4) and estrogen (E2) in ovariectomized mice. This finding is further supported by evidence from mice during the estrous cycle.Thus, we have concluded that ATF6α may play an important role during embryo implantation and decidualization.
Project description:Progesterone receptor and estrogen receptor participate in growth and differentiation of the different rat decidual regions. Steroid hormone receptor antagonists were used to study steroid regulation of decidualization. Here we describe a suppressive interaction between progesterone receptor (onapristone) and estrogen receptor (ICI182780) antagonists and their relation to a rescue phenomenon with concomitant regulation of Hand2, Bmp2 and p-ERK1/2 during the early decidualization steps. Phenotypes of decidua development produced by antagonist treatments were characterized by morphology, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and expression of signaling molecules. We found that suppression of progesterone receptor activity by onapristone treatment resulted in resorption of the implantation sites with concomitant decrease in progesterone and estrogen receptors, PCNA, KI67 antigen, DESMIN, CCND3, CX43, Prl8a2, and signaling players such as transcription factor Hand2, Bmp2 mRNAs and p-ERK1/2. Moreover, FGF-2 and Vegfa increased as a consequence of onapristone treatment. Implantation sites from antagonist of estrogen receptor treated rats developed all decidual regions, but showed an anomalous blood vessel formation at the mesometrial part of the decidua. The deleterious effect of onapristone was partially counteracted by the impairment of estrogen receptor activity with rescue of expression levels of hormone steroid receptors, proliferation and differentiation markers, and the induction of a probably compensatory increase in signaling molecules Hand2, Bmp2 and ERK1/2 activation compared to oil treated controls. This novel drug interaction during decidualization could be applied to pathological endometrial cell proliferation processes to improve therapies using steroid hormone receptor targets.
Project description:The adherens junction (AJ) is important for maintaining uterine structural integrity, composition of the luminal environment, and initiation of implantation by virtue of its properties of cell-cell recognition, adhesion, and establishment of cell polarity and permeability barriers. In this study, we investigated the uterine changes of AJ components E-cadherin, beta-catenin, and alpha-catenin at their mRNA and protein levels, together with the cellular distribution of meprinbeta, phospho-beta-catenin, and active beta-catenin proteins, in hamsters that show only ovarian progesterone-dependent uterine receptivity and implantation. By in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence, we have demonstrated that uterine epithelial cells expressed three of these AJ proteins and their mRNAs prior to and during the initial phase of implantation. Immunofluorescence study showed no change in epithelial expression patterns of uterine AJ proteins from Days 1 to 5 of pregnancy. With advancement of the implantation process, AJ components were primarily expressed in cells of the secondary decidual zone (SDZ), but not in the primary decidual zone (PDZ). In contrast, we noted strong expression of beta-catenin and alpha-catenin proteins in the PDZ, but not in the SDZ, of mice. Taken together, these results suggest that AJ proteins contribute to uterine barrier functions by cell-cell adhesion to ensure protection of the embryo. In addition, cleavage of E-cadherin by meprinbeta might contribute to weakening uterine epithelial cell-cell contact for blastocyst implantation. We also report that the nuclear localization of active beta-catenin from Day 4 onward in hamsters implies that beta-catenin/Wnt-signal transduction is activated in the uterus during implantation and decidualization.
Project description:The present investigation examined the spatiotemporal expression of estrogen receptors (ER-alpha and ER-beta) and progesterone receptor (PR) in the periimplantation mouse uterus (days 1-8). ER-alpha messenger RNA (mRNA) was detected at much higher levels in the periimplantation uterus compared with that of ER-beta mRNA, the levels of which were very low in all uterine cells during this period. Results of in situ hybridization demonstrated expression of ER-alpha mRNA primarily in the luminal and glandular epithelia on days 1 and 2 of pregnancy. On days 3 and 4, the accumulation was localized primarily in stromal cells in addition to its presence in the epithelium. Following implantation on day 5, the accumulation of this mRNA was more condensed in the luminal and glandular epithelia, but declined in the subluminal epithelial stroma at the sites of implanting embryos. On days 6-8, the accumulation of ER-alpha mRNA was primarily localized in the secondary decidual zone (SDZ) with more intense localization in the subepithelial cells at the mesometrial pole. In contrast, signals were very low to undetectable in the primary decidual zone (PDZ), and no signals were detected in implanting embryos. The undifferentiated stroma underneath the myometrium also showed positive signals. The immunolocalization of ER-alpha protein correlated with the mRNA localization. Western blot analysis showed down-regulation of ER-alpha in day 8 decidual cell extracts consistent with the down-regulation of ER-alpha mRNA in decidual cells immediately surrounding the embryo on this day. The expression pattern of PR was also dynamic in the periimplantation uterus. On day 1, the accumulation of PR mRNA was very low to undetectable, whereas only a modest level of accumulation in the epithelium was noted on day 2. On days 3 and 4, the accumulation of this mRNA was detected in both the epithelium and stroma. In contrast, the expression was restricted only to the stroma with increased signals at the sites of implantation on day 5. On days 6-8, PR mRNA accumulation increased dramatically throughout the deciduum. The localization of immunoreactive PR correlated with the mRNA distribution in the periimplantation uterus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the expression of ER-alpha, ER-beta, and PR is differentially regulated in the periimplantation mouse uterus. This compartmentalized expression of ER and PR provides information regarding the sites of coordinated effects ofestrogen and progesterone in the preparation of the uterus for implantation and decidualization during early pregnancy.
Project description:Decidualization is a morphological and biochemical transformation of endometrial stromal fibroblast into differentiated decidual cells, which is critical for embryo implantation and pregnancy establishment. The complex regulatory networks have been elucidated at both the transcriptome and the proteome levels, however very little is known about the post-transcriptional regulation of this process. miRNAs regulate multiple physiological pathways and their de-regulation is associated with human disorders including gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and preeclampsia. In this study we profile the miRNAs expression throughout human endometrial stromal (hESCs) decidualization and analyze the requirement of the miRNA biogenesis enzyme Dicer during this process. A total of 26 miRNAs were upregulated and 17 miRNAs downregulated in decidualized hESCs compared to non-decidualized hESCs. Three miRNAs families, miR-181, miR-183 and miR-200, are down-regulated during the decidualization process. Using miRNAs target prediction algorithms we have identified the potential targets and pathways regulated by these miRNAs. The knockdown of Dicer has a minor effect on hESCs during in vitro decidualization. We have analyzed a battery of decidualization markers such as cell morphology, Prolactin, IGFBP-1, MPIF-1 and TIMP-3 secretion as well as HOXA10, COX2, SP1, C/EBPß and FOXO1 expression in decidualized hESCs with decreased Dicer function. We found decreased levels of HOXA10 and altered intracellular organization of actin filaments in Dicer knockdown decidualized hESCs compared to control. Our results provide the miRNA signature of hESC during the decidualization process in vitro. We also provide the first functional characterization of Dicer during human endometrial decidualization although surprisingly we found that Dicer plays a minor role regulating this process suggesting that alternative biogenesis miRNAs pathways must be involved in human endometrial decidualization.
Project description:Although Hmgn5 is involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation, its physiological function during decidualization is still unknown. Here we showed that Hmgn5 was highly expressed in the decidual cells. Silencing of Hmgn5 expression by specific siRNA reduced the proliferation of uterine stromal cells and expression of Ccnd3 and Cdk4 in the absence or presence of estrogen and progesterone, whereas overexpression of Hmgn5 exhibited the opposite effects. Simultaneously, Hmgn5 might induce the expression of Prl8a2 and Prl3c1 which were 2 well-known differentiation markers for decidualization. In the uterine stromal cells, cAMP analog 8-Br-cAMP and progesterone could up-regulate the expression of Hmgn5, but the up-regulation was impeded by H89 and RU486, respectively. Attenuation of Hmgn5 expression could block the differentiation of uterine stromal cells in response to cAMP and progesterone. Further studies found that regulation of cAMP and progesterone on Hmgn5 expression was mediated by Hoxa10. During in vitro decidualization, knockdown of Hmgn5 could abrogate Hoxa10-induced upregulation of Prl8a2 and Prl3c1, while overexpression of Hmgn5 reversed the inhibitory effects of Hoxa10 siRNA on the expression of Prl8a2 and Prl3c1. In the stromal cells undergoing decidualization, Hmgn5 might act downstream of Hoxa10 to regulate the expression of Cox-2, Vegf and Mmp2. Collectively, Hmgn5 may play an important role during mouse decidualization.
Project description:Homeobox (HOX) A10 is essential for fertility as demonstrated in transgenic mice, specifically affecting implantation and decidualization. Its role in human decidualization, however, remains unknown. In this study, we used gene silencing followed by microarray analysis to decipher the role of HOXA10 during decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs). HOXA10 was knocked down using siRNA oligonucleotide transfection and cells were treated with estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate and dibutyryl cAMP (H + cAMP) to induce decidualization. Genes significantly regulated were identified using the Affymetrix microarray chip. With this method, 2361 transcripts were significantly altered by 1.5-fold or higher (P < 0.05) with H + cAMP treatment only. Of these genes, 258 were significantly up-regulated by HOXA10 knockdown and 236 transcripts were significantly down-regulated by more than 1.5-fold, totaling 494 genes that were regulated by HOXA10 during decidualization. Data analysis using the Ingenuity System revealed that many of the genes regulated by HOXA10 knockdown during H + cAMP treatment were associated with cell cycle. Real-time PCR was used to confirm that HOXA10 knockdown decreased expression of the cell cycle genes CDC2 and CCNB2. In addition, a higher percentage of cells were arrested in the G2/M phase. Next, we observed that cell proliferation as measured by BrdU incorporation was decreased upon HOXA10 knockdown and H + cAMP treatment. Apoptosis, on the other hand, as measured by Annexin V staining was not influenced by siHOXA10 in decidualizing cells. Together, these data demonstrate that during decidualization of HESC, HOXA10 is actively involved in promoting cell proliferation through the regulation of hundreds of genes.