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Dev Cell. 2011 Dec 13;21(6):1014-25. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Conditional deletion of Msx homeobox genes in the uterus inhibits blastocyst implantation by altering uterine receptivity.

Author information

1
Division of Reproductive Sciences, Perinatal Institute, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.

Abstract

An effective bidirectional communication between an implantation-competent blastocyst and the receptive uterus is a prerequisite for mammalian reproduction. The blastocyst will implant only when this molecular cross-talk is established. Here we show that the muscle segment homeobox gene (Msh) family members Msx1 and Msx2, which are two highly conserved genes critical for epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during development, also play crucial roles in embryo implantation. Loss of Msx1/Msx2 expression correlates with altered uterine luminal epithelial cell polarity and affects E-cadherin/β-catenin complex formation through the control of Wnt5a expression. Application of Wnt5a in vitro compromised blastocyst invasion and trophoblast outgrowth on cultured uterine epithelial cells. The finding that Msx1/Msx2 genes are critical for conferring uterine receptivity and readiness to implantation could have clinical significance, because compromised uterine receptivity is a major cause of pregnancy failure in IVF programs.

PMID:
22100262
PMCID:
PMC3241866
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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