Dysfunction of Liver Receptor Homolog-1 in Decidua: Possible Relevance to the Pathogenesis of Preeclampsia.
ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia (PE) is a multisystem disorder unique to Homo sapiens that is known to cause maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Between 5-7% of all pregnancies are affected by PE and it is responsible for approximately 50,000 maternal deaths annually. The pathogenesis of PE remains poorly understood. However, the results of this study indicated that insufficient decidualization plays a significant role. NR5A1 and NR5A2 are orphan members of the Ftz-F1 subfamily of nuclear receptors and are involved in mammal follicular development, female reproduction, steroidogenesis, and decidualization. The expression of NR5A1 and NR5A2 in the human decidua and their functions during decidualization were investigated using in vitro cultured cells by real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and siRNA techniques. The results demonstrated that the levels of NR5A2 mRNA and protein in the decidual tissues of women with PE were lower than those of normal pregnant women. However, the levels of NR5A1 mRNA and protein did not significantly differ between groups. The expression of NR5A2 was upregulated after in vitro decidualization, but the expression of NR5A1 remained low and showed no difference compared with that of the control cells. Knocking down of NR5A2 in human endometrial stromal cells (hESC) resulted in a significant reduction in their expression of decidualization markers (IGFBP1 and PRL) and signaling pathway molecules (WNT4 and BMP2) (P < 0.05). From these data, we concluded that NR5A2 is pivotal for the decidualization of decidual tissues and cultured human endometrial stromal cells. Disorders of the endometrium in decidual tissues may be associated with the abnormal decidualization thought to cause PE.
Project description:Decidualization is a prerequisite for successful implantation and the establishment of pregnancy. A critical role of impaired decidualization in subfertility has been established. In human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs), Krüppel-like factor 12 (KLF12) and Nur77 are novel regulators of decidualization. We investigated whether KLF12 impaired the decidualization of hESCs in recurrent implantation failure (RIF) patients.Endometrial tissues and hESCs were collected from RIF patients (n?=?34) and fertile controls (n?=?30) for in vitro analysis. Primary hESCs isolated from RIF endometrial tissues were used to evaluate the biological functions of KLF12 and Nur77. In addition, their molecular mechanisms were investigated by adenovirus-mediated overexpression. Gene expression regulation was examined by real-time-quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR), immunostaining and luciferase reporter assay. Further, blastocyst-like spheroid (BLS) and blastocyst implantation models were performed to examine the roles of KLF12 and Nur77 during embryo expansion on hESCs.hESCs from the RIF patients showed a poor decidual response, mainly characterized by decreased decidual prolactin (dPRL) secretion, impaired transformation and limited BLS expansion. In addition, KLF12 expression was increased in endometrial tissues from the RIF patients compared with those from the fertile controls, especially in stromal compartments. The opposite results were observed for Nur77 expression in these tissues. KLF12 repressed hESC decidualization by decreasing Nur77 expression. Mechanistically, KLF12 bound to a conserved site in the Nur77 promoter region. Nur77 overexpression significantly reversed the KLF12-mediated repression of dPRL expression, decidual transformation and BLS/blastocyst expansion.KLF12 impairs endometrial decidualization by transcriptionally repressing Nur77, and Nur77 overexpression reverses the poor decidual response of hESCs in RIF patients.
Project description:Successful implantation is dependent on the appropriate decidualization of endometrial stromal cells for the establishment of pregnancy in women. Mycobacterial heat shock protein 65 (HSP65) is involved in pathogenesis of the genital tuberculosis (GTB), one of the common causes of infertility in emerging countries. Though implantation failure appears to be the major cause, understanding the status of decidualizaiton process in women diagnosed with GTB has not been thoroughly addressed. We, therefore, explored the effect of HSP65 protein on the endometrial cell metabolism during in vitro decidualization. In order to identify the cellular metabolism of decidual cells with and without HSP65 treatment, proton NMR based characterization of metabolites extracted from cells and culture media were performed. In presence of HSP65, significant reduction in the decidual phenotype of endometrial stromal cells and prolactin expression is suggestive of impairment in decidualization. The intracellular and extracellular metabolic changes in HSP65 treated endometrial stromal cells produced a distinct pattern, reflecting the interaction between the protein and cellular metabolism. HSP65 mediated dysregulation in cellular metabolism is associated with poor decidualization. Besides enriching the present knowledge on metabolic changes underlying stromal cells decidualization, these findings assist in identifying potential molecular causes for decidualization failure in GTB women.
Project description:With implantation, mouse stromal cells begin to transform into epithelial-like cells surrounding the implantation chamber forming an avascular zone called the primary decidual zone (PDZ). In the mouse, the PDZ forms a transient, size-dependent permeable barrier to protect the embryo from maternal circulating harmful agents. The process of decidualization is critical for pregnancy maintenance in mice and humans. Mice deficient in cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, show compromised PDZ with dysregulated angiogenic factors, resulting in the retention of blood vessels and macrophages. This phenotype is replicated in Cnr1-/- but not in Cnr2-/-mice. In vitro decidualization models suggest that Cnr1 levels substantially increase in mouse and human decidualizing stromal cells, and that neutralization of CB1 signaling suppresses decidualization and misregulates angiogenic factors. Taken together, we propose that implantation quality depends on appropriate angiogenic events driven by the integration of CB2 in endothelial cells and CB1 in decidual cells.
Project description:Decidualization is a crucial change required for successful embryo implantation and the maintenance of pregnancy. During this process, endometrial stromal cells differentiate into decidual cells in response to the ovarian steroid hormones of early pregnancy. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are known to regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis in multiple cell types, including uterine endometrial cells. Aberrant activation of ERK1/2 has recently been implicated in the pathological processes of endometriosis and endometrial cancer. However, the function of ERK1/2 signaling during implantation and decidualization is still unknown. To determine the role and regulation of ERK1/2 signaling during implantation and decidualization, we examine ERK1/2 signaling in the mouse uterus during early pregnancy using immunostaining and qPCR. Interestingly, levels of phospho-ERK1/2 were highest within decidual cells located at the implantation sites. Expression levels of ERK1/2 target genes were also significantly higher at implantation sites, when compared to either inter-implantation sites. To determine if ERK1/2 signaling is also important during human endometrial decidualization, we examined levels of phospho-ERK1/2 in cultured human endometrial stromal cells during in vitro decidualization. Following treatment with a well-established decidualization-inducing steroidogenic cocktail, levels of phospho-ERK1/2 were markedly increased. Treatment with the ERK1/2 inhibitor, U0126, significantly decreased the expression of the known decidualization marker genes, IGFBP1 and PRL as well as inhibited the induction of known ERK1/2 target genes; FOS, MSK1, STAT1, and STAT3. Interestingly, the phosphorylation level of CCAAT/ enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?), a protein previously shown to be critical for decidualization, was significantly reduced in this model. These results suggest that ERK1/2 signaling is required for successful decidualization in mice as well as human endometrial stromal cells and implicates C/EBP? as a downstream target of ERK1/2.
Project description:Mouse studies support a role for endometrial early growth response 1 (EGR1) in uterine receptivity and decidualization, which are processes controlled by estrogen and progesterone. However, the importance of this transcription factor in similar cellular processes in human is unclear. Analysis of clinical samples indicate that endometrial EGR1 levels are decreased in the endometrium of women with recurrent implantation failure, suggesting that tight control of EGR1 levels are necessary for normal endometrial function. Therefore, we used siRNA-mediated knockdown of EGR1 expression in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs) to assess the functional role of EGR1 in hESC decidualization. Protein expression studies revealed that EGR1 is highly expressed in pre-decidual hESCs. However, EGR1 protein levels rapidly decrease following administration of an established deciduogenic hormone stimulus containing estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Intriguingly, EGR1 knockdown in pre-decidual hESCs blocks the ability of these cells to decidualize later, indicating that EGR1 is required to transcriptionally program pre-decidual hESCs for decidualization. Support for this proposal comes from the analysis of transcriptome and cistrome datasets, which shows that EGR1 target genes are primarily involved in transcriptional regulation, cell signaling, and proliferation. Collectively, our studies provide translational support for an evolutionary conserved role for human endometrial stromal EGR1 in the early events of pregnancy establishment.
Project description:Fushi tarazu factor 1 (Ftz-F1, NR5A) is a zinc-finger transcription factor that belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily and regulates genes that are involved in sterol and steroid metabolism in gonads, adrenals, liver and other tissues. To understand the evolutionary origins and developmental genetic relationships of the Ftz-F1 genes, we have cloned four homologous Ftz-f1 genes in zebrafish, called ff1a, ff1b, ff1c and ff1d. These four genes have different temporal and spatial expression patterns during development, indicating that they have distinct mechanisms of genetic regulation. Among them, the ff1a expression pattern is similar to mammalian Nr5a2, while the ff1b pattern is similar to that of mammalian Nr5a1. Genetic mapping experiments show that these four ff1 genes are located on chromosome segments conserved between the zebrafish and human genomes, indicating a common ancestral origin. Phylogenetic and conserved synteny analysis show that ff1a is the orthologue of NR5A2, and that ff1b and ff1d genes are co-orthologues of NR5A1 that arose by a gene-duplication event, probably a whole-genome duplication, in the ray-fin lineage, and each gene is located next to an NR6A1 co-orthologue as in humans, showing that the tandem duplication occurred before the divergence of human and zebrafish lineages. ff1c does not have a mammalian counterpart. Thus we have characterized the phylogenetic relationships, expression patterns and chromosomal locations of these Ftz-F1 genes, and have demonstrated their identities as NR5A genes in relation to the orthologous genes in other species.
Project description:Successful pregnancy requires coordination of an array of signals and factors from multiple tissues. One such element, liver receptor homolog-1 (Lrh-1), is an orphan nuclear receptor that regulates metabolism and hormone synthesis. It is strongly expressed in granulosa cells of ovarian follicles and in the corpus luteum of rodents and humans. Germline ablation of Nr5a2 (also called Lrh-1), the gene coding for Lrh-1, in mice is embryonically lethal at gastrulation. Depletion of Lrh-1 in the ovarian follicle shows that it regulates genes required for both steroid synthesis and ovulation. To study the effects of Lrh-1 on mouse gestation, we genetically disrupted its expression in the corpus luteum, resulting in luteal insufficiency. Hormone replacement permitted embryo implantation but was followed by gestational failure with impaired endometrial decidualization, compromised placental formation, fetal growth retardation and fetal death. Lrh-1 is also expressed in the mouse and human endometrium, and in a primary culture of human endometrial stromal cells, reduction of NR5A2 transcript abundance by RNA interference abrogated decidualization. These findings show that Lrh-1 is necessary for maintenance of the corpus luteum, for promotion of decidualization and for formation of the placenta. It therefore has multiple, indispensible roles in establishing and sustaining pregnancy.
Project description:During the preimplantation phase of pregnancy the endometrial stroma differentiates into decidua, a process that implies numerous morphological changes and is an example of physiological transdifferentiation. Here we show that UIII rat endometrial stromal cells cultured in the presence of calf serum acquired morphological features of decidual cells and expressed decidual markers. To identify genes involved in decidualization we compared gene expression patterns of control and decidualized UIII cells using cDNA microarray. We found 322 annotated genes exhibiting significant differences in expression (>3-fold, fold discovery rate (FDR) >0.005), of which 312 have not been previously related to decidualization. Analysis of overrepresented functions revealed that protein synthesis, gene expression, and chromatin architecture and remodeling are the most relevant modified functions during decidualization. Relevant genes are also found in the functional terms differentiation, cell proliferation, signal transduction, and matrix/structural proteins. Several of these new genes involved in decidualization (Csdc2, Trim27, Eef1a1, Bmp1, Wt1, Aes, Gna12, and Men1) are shown to be also regulated in uterine decidua during normal pregnancy. Thus, the UIII cell culture model will allow future mechanistic studies to define the transcriptional network regulating reprogramming of stromal cells into decidual cells.
Project description:Pausing of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) during early transcription, mediated by the negative elongation factor (NELF) complex, allows cells to coordinate and appropriately respond to signals by modulating the rate of transcriptional pause release. Promoter proximal enrichment of Pol II occurs at uterine genes relevant to reproductive biology; thus, we hypothesized that pausing might impact endometrial response by coordinating hormonal signals involved in establishing and maintaining pregnancy. We deleted the NELF-B subunit in the mouse uterus using PgrCre (NELF-B UtcKO). Resulting females were infertile. Uterine response to the initial decidual stimulus of NELF-B UtcKO was similar to that of control mice; however, subsequent full decidual response was not observed. Cultured NELF-B UtcKO stromal cells exhibited perturbances in extracellular matrix components and also expressed elevated levels of the decidual prolactin Prl8a2, as well as altered levels of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in prostaglandin synthesis and metabolism. Because endometrial stromal cell decidualization is also critical to human reproductive health and fertility, we used small interfering to suppress NELF-B or NELF-E subunits in cultured human endometrial stromal cells, which inhibited decidualization, as reflected by the impaired induction of decidual markers PRL and IGFBP1. Overall, our study indicates NELF-mediated pausing is essential to coordinate endometrial responses and that disruption impairs uterine decidual development during pregnancy.-Hewitt, S. C., Li, R., Adams, N., Winuthayanon, W., Hamilton, K. J., Donoghue, L. J., Lierz, S. L., Garcia, M., Lydon, J. P., DeMayo, F. J., Adelman, K., Korach, K. S. Negative elongation factor is essential for endometrial function.
Project description:Although GPR64 has an important role for male fertility, its physiological roles in the female reproductive system are still unknown. In the present study, immunohistochemical analysis reveals a spatiotemporal expression of GPR64 in the uterus during early pregnancy. Observation of remarkable induction of GPR64 expression in uterine decidual cells points to its potential physiological significance on decidualization. The decidualization of uterine stromal cells is a key event in implantation. Progesterone (P4) signaling is crucial for the decidualization of the endometrial stromal cells for successful pregnancy. Therefore, we examined ovarian steroid hormone regulation of GPR64 expression in the murine uterus. P4 induced GPR64 expression in the epithelial and stromal cells of the uterus in ovariectomized wild-type mice, but not in PRKO mice. ChIP analysis confirmed that PGR proteins were recruited on progesterone response element of Gpr64 gene in the uteri of wild-type mice treated with P4. Furthermore, the expression of GPR64 was increased in human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs) during in vitro decidualization. Interestingly, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of GPR64 in hESCs remarkably reduced decidualization. These results suggest that Gpr64 has a crucial role in the decidualization of endometrial stromal cells.