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Obstetrics - Oncology - Women's Health

Stromal-to-Epithelial Transition during Postpartum Endometrial Regeneration
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Author: Cheng-Chiu Huang et al.

by Cheng-Chiu Huang, Grant D. Orvis, Ying Wang, Richard R. Behringer

Endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus which is composed of epithelial and stromal tissue compartments enclosed by the two smooth muscle layers of the myometrium. In women, much of the endometrium is shed and regenerated each month during the menstrual cycle. Endometrial regeneration also occurs after parturition. The cellular mechanisms that regulate endometrial regeneration are still poorly understood. Using genetic fate-mapping in the mouse, we found that the epithelial compartment of the endometrium maintains its epithelial identity during the estrous cycle and postpartum regeneration. However, whereas the stromal compartment maintains its identity during homeostatic cycling, after parturition a subset of stromal cells differentiates into epithelium that is subsequently maintained. These findings identify potential progenitor cells within the endometrial stromal compartment that produce long-term epithelial tissue during postpartum endometrial regeneration.