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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Mar;84(3):1129-35.

Sex steroids mediate HOXA11 expression in the human peri-implantation endometrium.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Under the influence of sex steroids, human endometrium undergoes sequential development in preparation for implantation. Hoxa11 is essential for implantation in the mouse. Here we describe a potential role for HOXA11 in human endometrial development and implantation. Northern analysis demonstrates that HOXA11 is expressed in a menstrual cycle phase-dependent fashion in adult human endometrium. HOXA11 messenger RNA levels dramatically increase at the time of implantation and remain increased in pregnancy. In vitro, HOXA11 expression is increased in response to estrogen or progesterone. There is a dose-responsive increase over the physiologic range of progesterone concentration. Pretreatment with Cyclohexamide does not decrease the response to estrogen. Steroids are novel regulators HOX gene expression. The spatial and temporal pattern of HOXA11 expression in the human endometrium suggests a role in endometrial development, implantation, and maintenance of pregnancy.

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