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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;90(3):1607-12. Epub 2004 Dec 21.

The production of interleukin-11 and decidualization are compromised in endometrial stromal cells derived from patients with infertility.

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Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.


IL-11 signaling is critical for decidualization of the endometrial stroma in early pregnancy in the mouse. In this study, we investigate the function of IL-11 signaling in cAMP-induced decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells. We show that treatment of endometrial stromal cells with 8-bromo-cAMP (8-Br-cAMP) results in an increase in the levels of secreted IL-11, whereas levels of cell surface IL-11 receptor alpha are similar with or without 8-Br-cAMP treatment. The production of IL-11 correlates with the production of molecular markers of decidualization, prolactin and IGF-binding protein-1. The expression of these markers is inhibited when IL-11 signaling is specifically blocked in decidualizing endometrial stromal cells by the IL-11 antagonist W147A. We demonstrate that 8-Br-cAMP-induced endometrial stromal cells derived from patients with primary infertility produce lower levels of prolactin, IGF-binding protein-1, and IL-11 than cells derived from fertile women. Our results suggest that IL-11 expression is critically important during decidualization in the human endometrium, and that aberrant regulation of endometrial IL-11 production may be associated with some types of infertility.

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