Endometrial and placental CRH as regulators of human embryo implantation (Journal article)

Makrigiannakis, A./ Zoumakis, E./ Kalantaridou, S./ Chrousos, G.

Epithelial cells of the human endometrium and differentiated endometrial stromal cells express the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) gene. CRH is also produced by human placental cytotrophoblast. Endometrial and placental CRH are under the endocrine control of gonadal steroids as well as under autocrine/paracrine regulation by prostanoids and interleukins. Human endometrium, myometrium and placenta express the relevant receptors. Human trophoblast and decidualized endometrial cells also express Fas ligand (FasL), a pro-apoptotic molecule. These findings suggest that intra-uterine CRH may participate in local inflammatory phenomena associated with blastocyst implantation, while FasL may assist with maternal immune tolerance to the semi-allograft embryo. A nonpeptidic CRH receptor type 1 (CRH-R1)-specific antagonist decreased the expression of FasL by human trophoblasts, suggesting that CRH regulates the pro-apoptotic potential of these cells in an auto-paracrine fashion. Invasive trophoblasts promoted apoptosis of activated Fas-expressing human T lymphocytes, an effect potentiated by CRH and inhibited by the CRH antagonist. Female rats treated with the CRH antagonist in the first 6 days of gestation had a dose-dependent decrease of endometrial implantation sites and live embryos as well as markedly diminished endometrial FasL expression. However, embryos of mothers lacking T cells (nude rats) and embryos of syngeneic matings were not rejected when mothers were treated with antalarmin, suggesting that the effect of antalarmin on embryonic implantation is not due to a nonspecific toxicity of this compound but a specific effect on T cells. Our data suggest important physiological roles of endometrial and placental CRH in the regulation of blastocyst implantation and early maternal tolerance.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών Υγείας. Τμήμα Ιατρικής
Keywords: Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone/metabolism/*physiology,*Embryo Implantation,Endometrium/*metabolism,Female,Humans,Placenta/*metabolism,Pregnancy
URI: http://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/21981
ISSN: 0165-0378
Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15288181
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα σε επιστημονικά περιοδικά ( Ανοικτά)

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