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Mol Endocrinol. 2012 May;26(5):846-58. doi: 10.1210/me.2011-1259. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Critical role of TRPC1-mediated Ca²⁺ entry in decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan.


Decidualization is an ovarian steroid-induced remodeling/differentiation process of uterus essential for embryo implantation and placentation. Here, we investigated the possible involvement of enhanced Ca²⁺ dynamics in the decidualization process in human endometrial stromal cells (hESC) in its connection with a recently emerging nonvoltage-gated Ca²⁺ entry channel superfamily, the transient receptor potential (TRP) protein. Combined application of 17β-estradiol (E₂) (10 nM) and progesterone (P₄) (1 μM) for 7-14 d resulted in morphological changes of hESC characteristic of decidualization (i.e. cell size increase), whereas sole application of E₂ exerted little effects. A 7- to 14-d E₂/P₄ treatment greatly increased the expression level of decidualization markers IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) and prolactin and also up-regulated the expression of TRPC1, a canonical TRP subfamily member that has been implicated in store-operated Ca²⁺ influx (SOC) in other cell types. In parallel with this up-regulation, SOC activity in hESC, the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated cAMP responsive element binding protein (p-CREB) and the expression of Forkhead box protein 01 were enhanced significantly. Small interfering RNA knockdown of TRPC1 counteracted the E₂/P₄-induced up-regulation of IGFBP-1 and prolactin and enhancement of SOC activity together with the inhibition of hESC size increase, p-CREB nuclear translocation, and FOXO1 up-regulation. Coadministration of SOC inhibitors SK&F96365 or Gd³⁺ with E₂/P₄ also suppressed the up-regulation of IGFBP-1 and hESC size increase. Similar inhibitory effects were observed with extracellularly applied TRPC1 extracellular loop 3-directed antibody, which is known to bind a near-pore domain of TRPC1 channel and block its Ca²⁺ transporting activity. These results strongly suggest that up-regulation of TRPC1 protein and consequent enhancement of SOC-mediated Ca²⁺ influx may serve as a crucial step for the decidualization process of hESC probably via p-CREB-dependent transcriptional activity associated with FOXO1 activation.

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