Review of factors essential for blastocyst implantation for their modulating effects on the maternal immune system.
ABSTRACT Pituitary and ovarian hormones prepare the endometrium for successful blastocyst implantation and support its process directly or indirectly through the action of growth factors, cytokines and other molecules. Many of the blastocyst implantation essential factors (BIEFs) are modulators of the maternal immune system. Since little is known as to the action of these molecules on the uterine lymphocytes, its clarification is imperative to the understanding of the process of blastocyst implantation.
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ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to develop optimized experimental models to examine human implantation. These studies aimed to (i) establish a human endometrium-like three-dimensional (3D) culture system, and (ii) examine the attachment of trophoblast-like Jar spheroids to the culture. In the present work, 3D endometrial cultures were constructed with fibrin-agarose as matrix scaffold, and using epithelial and stromal cells from both human primary cultures and established cell lines. An attachment assay between trophoblast cells and the 3D culture was developed. Epithelial cells (cytokeratin(+)) concentrated on top of the matrix forming a monolayer, and stromal cells (vimentin(+)) resided within the matrix, resembling the normal endometrial structure. The capability of primary epithelial cells to form glands spontaneously was observed. Human trophoblast cells (Jar cells) were hCG(+) by immunostaining, allowed to form spheroids, and confirmed to secrete hCG into the medium. Time-dependent experiments demonstrated a high rate of attachment of Jar spheroids to the epithelium, and adhesion was strongly related to the various cell types present in the 3D culture. An architecturally and functionally competent 3D endometrial culture system was established, that coupled with Jar spheroids mimicking trophoblast cells, provides a unique in vitro model for the study of certain aspects of human implantation.Molecular Human Reproduction 01/2012; 18(1):33-43. DOI:10.1093/molehr/gar064 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As part of successful human reproduction, the Fallopian tube must provide a suitable environment for pre-implantation development of the embryo and for efficient transport of the embryo to the uterus for implantation. These functions are coordinated by paracrine interactions between tubal epithelial, smooth muscle and immune cells and the cells of the developing embryo. Alterations in these signals can lead to a tubal microenvironment encouraging of embryo implantation and to dysregulated tubal motility, ultimately resulting in inappropriate and early implantation of the embryo in the Fallopian tube. Here, we highlight novel and emerging concepts in tubal physiology and pathobiology, such as the induction of a receptive phenotype within the Fallopian tube, leading to ectopic implantation. Chlamydia trachomatis infection is a risk factor for tubal ectopic pregnancy. Activation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR-2) in the Fallopian tube epithelium, by C. trachomatis has recently been demonstrated, leading to the dysregulation of factors involved in implantation and smooth muscle contractility, such as prokineticins (PROK), activin A and interleukin 1 (IL-1). The Fallopian tube has also recently been shown to harbour a unique population of immune cells, compared to the endometrium. In addition, the complement of immune cells in the Fallopian tube has been reported to be altered in Fallopian tube from women with ectopic pregnancy. There are increasing data suggesting that vascularisation of the Fallopian tube, by the embryo during ectopic pregnancy, differs from that initiated in the uterus during normal pregnancy. This too, is likely the result of paracrine signals between the embryo and the tubal microenvironment.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 07/2011; 358(2):216-22. DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2011.07.037 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor receptor subfamily 9 (TNFRSF9) plays a potentially important general role in immune function. Tnfrsf9 gene expression has previously been characterized in late pregnant mouse uterus and placenta. However, little is known about its expression in the uterus during the implantation phase of early pregnancy. We have assessed the levels and localization of Tnfrsf9 expression in the mouse uterus and conceptus during implantation. Relative Tnfrsf9 mRNA levels were significantly higher in implantation than in non-implantation site tissue on days 6.5-8.5 of pregnancy. This increase did not depend on the presence of the conceptus, as mRNA levels were not significantly different between pregnant implantation sites and artificially induced deciduomas. Localization by in situ hybridization revealed a subpopulation of endothelial and uterine natural killer cells expressing Tnfrsf9 in the endometrium during implantation. In the developing conceptus, primary trophoblast giant and ectoplacental cells expressed Tnfrsf9 on days 6.5-8.5, followed by expression in the trophoblast giant cell layers surrounding the conceptus on day 9.5 of pregnancy. Two main splice forms of Tnfrsf9 mRNA exist and encode proteins with distinct biological functions; both mRNA splice forms were present in uterine and conceptus tissues as determined by reverse transcription with the polymerase chain reaction. Thus, both membrane and soluble forms of Tnfrsf9 are expressed in specific cell types of the uterus and conceptus during the progression of implantation in mice and possibly have an important function in this process.Cell and Tissue Research 06/2011; 344(3):567-76. DOI:10.1007/s00441-011-1171-0 · 3.33 Impact Factor