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Endocrinology. 2009 Sep;150(9):4404-13. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-0036. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Paracrine signals from the mouse conceptus are not required for the normal progression of decidualization.

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Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the conceptus directs the formation of a tight- and adherens-dependent permeability barrier formed by the primary decidual zone and normal progression of decidual cell differentiation during embryo implantation. Four artificial models of decidualization were used, some apparently more physiological than others. The results show that both the formation of the permeability barrier and decidual cell differentiation of three of the artificial models were quite different from that of pregnant uteri. One artificial model of decidualization, namely pseudopregnant animals receiving concanavalin A-coated Sepharose bead transfers on d 2.5 of pseudopregnancy, better recapitulated the decidual changes that occur in the pregnant uterus undergoing decidualization. This included the formation of a primary decidual zone-like permeability barrier and decidual growth. This model also exhibited similar temporal changes of the expression of genes involved in decidualization that are markers of decidual cell differentiation. Overall, the results of this study indicate that some models of inducing decidualization artificially produce responses that are more similar to those occurring in the pregnant uterus, whereas others are quite different. More importantly, the results suggest that concanavalin A-coated Sepharose beads can provide an equivalent stimulus as the trophectoderm to cause the formation of the primary decidual zone permeability barrier.

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