Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research Summary

The human endometrium is a dynamic tissue that undergoes regular cycles of menstruation, menstrual repair, proliferation, and secretory differentiation in response to hypoxia and the female sex hormones. We identified new target genes that are regulated by progesterone during the decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells, including interleukin-15, fibulin-1, and heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 (HAND2; Fig.1). Several mediators, including vascular endothelial growth factor, angiopoietin, and stromal cell-derived factor 1, regulate human endometrial angiogenesis. Analysis of the process of decidualization and angiogenesis in the human endometrium would provide useful information for the fields of reproductive biology, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering.
We also investigate the effects of ovarian hormone on the gene expression of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (M1–M5) in the myometrium. These results suggest that ovarian hormones influence the expression of M2 and M3 in the myometrium by regulating the expression of hormone receptors. The combination of estrogen and progesterone may contribute the reproduction by quieting down the acetylcholine-induced myometrial contraction.

Fig.1: Immunofluorescence staining of HAND2
protein in human endometrial stromal cells