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Reprod Sci. 2013 Nov;20(11):1321-6. doi: 10.1177/1933719113485289. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Characterization of the temporal and spatial expression of a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 in the human endometrium and fallopian tube.

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1MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Metalloproteinases are thought to mediate shedding of mucins from the endometrium surface, exposing oligosaccharide ligands involved in implantation. We hypothesized that a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17) is upregulated during the "window of implantation" in human endometrium but not in fallopian tube (FT) where implantation is pathological. Endometrial and FT expression of ADAM17 throughout the menstrual cycle was determined using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. The ADAM17 transcription was significantly downregulated (P < .01) during the early-midsecretory phase in the endometrium but not in the FT. The ADAM17 was localized to the surface of epithelial cells and was also detected in the endometrial stroma during the late luteal and proliferative phase of the cycle. Physiological levels of estradiol significantly (P < .05) upregulated ADAM17 transcription in vitro. Our observations do not support the role of ADAM17 in shedding of mucins during the window of implantation. The precise role of ADAM17 in the female reproductive tract requires further investigation.


TNF-α converting enzyme; apposition; ectopic; implantation; sheddase

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