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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Apr 2;93(7):3115-20.

Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and LIF receptor expression in human endometrium suggests a potential autocrine/paracrine function in regulating embryo implantation.

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  • 1Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Roche Research Center, Nutley, NJ 07110, USA.


The uterine expression of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is essential for embryo implantation in the mouse. Here, we describe the expression of LIF, related members of this group of cytokines, oncostatin M and ciliary neurotrophic factor, and the LIF receptor beta and glycoprotein gp130 in normal human tissues and in the endometrium of fertile women. Our results show that LIF is the only one of these factors expressed at detectable levels in the endometrium of women of proven fertility. LIF expression is restricted to the endometrial glands during the secretory/postovulatory phase but is not present in the endometrium during the proliferative/preovulatory phase. The LIF receptor beta is expressed during the proliferative and secretory phases of the cycle and is restricted to the luminal epithelium. The associated signal-transducing component of the LIF receptor, gp130, is also expressed in both the luminal and glandular epithelium throughout the cycle. These results suggest that uterine expression of LIF in humans, like mice, may have a role in regulating embryo implantation, possibly through an autocrine/paracrine interaction between LIF and its receptor at the luminal epithelium.

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