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Endocr Rev. 2004 Jun;25(3):341-73.

Molecular cues to implantation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, MCN D4100, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA. sk.dey@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Successful implantation is the result of reciprocal interactions between the implantation-competent blastocyst and receptive uterus. Although various cellular aspects and molecular pathways of this dialogue have been identified, a comprehensive understanding of the implantation process is still missing. The receptive state of the uterus, which lasts for a limited period, is defined as the time when the uterine environment is conducive to blastocyst acceptance and implantation. A better understanding of the molecular signals that regulate uterine receptivity and implantation competency of the blastocyst is of clinical relevance because unraveling the nature of these signals may lead to strategies to correct implantation failure and improve pregnancy rates. Gene expression studies and genetically engineered mouse models have provided valuable clues to the implantation process with respect to specific growth factors, cytokines, lipid mediators, adhesion molecules, and transcription factors. However, a staggering amount of information from microarray experiments is also being generated at a rapid pace. If properly annotated and explored, this information will expand our knowledge regarding yet-to-be-identified unique, complementary, and/or redundant molecular pathways in implantation. It is hoped that the forthcoming information will generate new ideas and concepts for a process that is essential for maintaining procreation and solving major reproductive health issues in women.

PMID:
15180948
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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