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Endocrinology. 2018 Jul 1;159(7):2554-2562. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00374.

miR-194-3p Represses the Progesterone Receptor and Decidualization in Eutopic Endometrium From Women With Endometriosis.

Pei T1,2, Liu C1,2, Liu T1,2, Xiao L1,2, Luo B1,2, Tan J1,2, Li X1,2, Zhou G1,2, Duan C1,2, Huang W1,2.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West China Second University Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.
Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children, Sichuan University, Ministry of Education, West China Second University Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.


Progesterone resistance in the eutopic endometrium (EuE) is suggested to be a critical factor for decreased endometrial receptivity and implantation failure in reproductive-aged women with endometriosis. Altered expression of miRNAs has been reported to play an important role in the pathophysiology of endometriosis-associated infertility. However, the underlying mechanisms of aberrant progesterone receptor (PR) and deficient decidualization regulated by miRNAs in endometriosis have not been thoroughly elucidated. The goal of this study was to explore the regulation and roles of miR-194-3p in aberrant PR expression and impaired decidualization in endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) from the EuE of women with mild or minimal endometriosis. Using a series of studies, we observed decreased PR mRNA expression and an increasing PR-A/PR-B mRNA ratio trend in the midsecretory phase of the EuE of women with minimal or mild endometriosis (n = 19) compared with controls (n = 14); the increased expression of miR-194-3p in the endometriosis group was consistent with previous microarray analysis. We also found that PR protein levels were inhibited by the transfection of ESCs with an miR-194-3p mimic and upregulated by miR-194-3p inhibition. As predicted by the bioinformatic analysis, the 3'-untranslated region luciferase assay indicated the direct regulation of PR expression by miR-194-3p. Furthermore, miR-194-3p overexpression inhibited the in vitro decidualization of ESCs via both cellular morphological changes and prolactin levels. Therefore, our study demonstrated that miR-194-3p contributes to progesterone resistance in endometriosis, which hinders fertility by repressing the levels of PR and decidualization in the EuE. Thus, miR-194-3p regulation is a future therapeutic strategy for endometriosis.


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