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Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Enhances Endometrial Stromal Cell Decidualization in Humans and Mice
Published: Friday, September 23, 2011
Author: Lorraine Lin Shuya et al.

by Lorraine Lin Shuya, Ellen Melaleuca Menkhorst, Joanne Yap, Priscilla Li, Natalie Lane, Evdokia Dimitriadis

Adequate differentiation or decidualization of endometrial stromal cells (ESC) is critical for successful pregnancy in humans and rodents. Here, we investigated the role of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) in human and murine decidualization. Ex vivo human (H) ESC decidualization was induced by estrogen (E, 10-8 M) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, 10-7 M). Exogenous LIF (=50 ng/ml) induced STAT3 phosphorylation in non-decidualized and decidualized HESC and enhanced E+MPA-induced decidualization (measured by PRL secretion, P<0.05). LIF mRNA in HESC was down-regulated by decidualization treatment (E+MPA) whereas LIF receptor (R) mRNA was up-regulated, suggesting that the decidualization stimulus ‘primed’ HESC for LIF action, but that factors not present in our in vitro model were required to induce LIF expression. Ex vivo first trimester decidual biopsies secreted >100 pg/mg G-CSF, IL6, IL8, and MCP1. Decidualized HESC secreted IL6, IL8, IL15 and MCP1. LIF (50 ng/ml) up-regulated IL6 and IL15 (P<0.05) secretion in decidualized HESC compared to 0.5 ng/ml LIF. In murine endometrium, LIF and LIFR immunolocalized to decidualized stromal cells on day 5 of gestation (day 0?=?day of plug detection). Western blotting confirmed that LIF and the LIFR were up-regulated in intra-implantation sites compared to inter-implantation sites on Day 5 of gestation. To determine the role of LIF during in vivo murine decidualization, intra-peritoneal injections of a long-acting LIF antagonist (PEGLA; 900 or 1200 µg) were given just post-attachment, during the initiation of decidualization on day 4. PEGLA treatment reduced implantation site decidual area (P<0.05) and desmin staining immuno-intensity (P<0.05) compared to control on day 6 of gestation. This study demonstrated that LIF was an important regulator of decidualization in humans and mice and data provides insight into the processes underlying decidualization, which are important for understanding implantation and placentation.
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