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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Dec 15;88(24):11408-12.

Uterine expression of leukemia inhibitory factor coincides with the onset of blastocyst implantation.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Roche Research Center, Nutley, NJ 07110.


We have analyzed the expression of the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) during embryogenesis and in tissues of neonatal and adult mice. The site of the most abundant LIF expression is the uterine endometrial glands, specifically on day 4 of pregnancy. Analysis of LIF expression in pseudopregnant mice and in females undergoing delayed implantation showed that it is under maternal control and that its expression coincides with blastocyst formation and always precedes implantation. These results suggest that a principal function of LIF in vivo may be to regulate the growth and to initiate implantation of blastocysts.

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