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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 May 31;120(2-3):116-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

Oestrogen and progesterone regulation of inflammatory processes in the human endometrium.

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University of Edinburgh, Centre for Reproductive Biology, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, United Kingdom.


The human endometrium is a unique tissue that has to undergo cycles of proliferation, differentiation, destruction and repair. This ensures that the endometrium is optimally prepared for potential embryo implantation but in the absence of an embryo, menstruation occurs to allow endometrial regeneration. These cycles of tissue remodelling occur under the sequential influence of the sex steroid hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The physiological events of implantation and menstruation display features of inflammation, tightly regulated by oestrogen and progesterone. After menstruation cellular proliferation and blood vessel growth is modulated by oestrogen while after ovulation progesterone is the dominant hormone. In preparation for implantation, progesterone regulates decidualization of the endometrium, uterine natural killer cell numbers within the endometrium and chemokine and cytokine expression. Menstruation, in contrast, is preceded by progesterone withdrawal, which results in an influx of leukocytes into the endometrium and increased production of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases allowing tissue degradation. The aim of this article is to review the current knowledge on the regulation of inflammatory events within the endometrium by oestrogen and progesterone, in relation to two pivotal events for human reproduction, implantation and menstruation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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