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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Dec;99(12):E2610-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-3488.

mRNA-binding protein TIA-1 reduces cytokine expression in human endometrial stromal cells and is down-regulated in ectopic endometrium.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (H.M.K., E.A., A.T., O.G.-K., M.D.L., H.K., C.M.P.D., G.C., C.F., E.S.) and Department of Pathology (O.S.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8063; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (C.B.K.), Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.



Cytokines and growth factors play important roles in endometrial function and the pathogenesis of endometriosis. mRNAs encoding cytokines and growth factors undergo rapid turnover; primarily mediated by adenosine- and uridine-rich elements (AREs) located in their 3'-untranslated regions. T-cell intracellular antigen (TIA-1), an mRNA-binding protein, binds to AREs in target transcripts, leading to decreased gene expression.


The purpose of this article was to determine whether TIA-1 plays a role in the regulation of endometrial cytokine and growth factor expression during the normal menstrual cycle and whether TIA-1 expression is altered in women with endometriosis.


Eutopic endometrial tissue obtained from women without endometriosis (n = 30) and eutopic and ectopic endometrial tissues from women with endometriosis (n = 17) were immunostained for TIA-1. Staining intensities were evaluated by histological scores (HSCOREs). The regulation of endometrial TIA-1 expression by immune factors and steroid hormones was studied by treating primary cultured human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) with vehicle, lipopolysaccharide, TNF-α, IL-6, estradiol, or progesterone, followed by protein blot analyses. HESCs were engineered to over- or underexpress TIA-1 to test whether TIA-1 regulates IL-6 or TNF-α expression in these cells.


We found that TIA-1 is expressed in endometrial stromal and glandular cells throughout the menstrual cycle and that this expression is significantly higher in the perimenstrual phase. In women with endometriosis, TIA-1 expression in eutopic and ectopic endometrium was reduced compared with TIA-1 expression in eutopic endometrium of unaffected control women. Lipopolysaccharide and TNF-α increased TIA-1 expression in HESCs in vitro, whereas IL-6 or steroid hormones had no effect. In HESCs, down-regulation of TIA-1 resulted in elevated IL-6 and TNF-α expression, whereas TIA-1 overexpression resulted in decreased IL-6 and TNF-α expression.


Endometrial TIA-1 is regulated throughout the menstrual cycle, TIA-1 modulates the expression of immune factors in endometrial cells, and downregulation of TIA-1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of endometriosis.

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