Influence of Follicular Fluid and Seminal Plasma on The Expression of Endometrial Receptivity Genes in Endometrial Cells

Document Type : Original Article


1 . Department of Medical Genetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 .Department of Tissue Engineering and Applied Cell Sciences, Faculty of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 .Stem Cell Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 4.Department of Medical Genetics, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

5 5.Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 6.Department of Immunology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Endometrial receptivity plays a key role in pregnancy success in assisted reproduction cycles. Recent evidence suggests that seminal plasma (SP) and follicular fluid (FF) influence the uterine endometrium to improve implantation of the embryo and the establishment of pregnancy. In this study, we attempt to assess the influence of FF and SP on the expression levels of main endometrial receptivity genes (HOXA10, HOXA11, ITGAV, ITGB3 and LIF) in endometrial stromal cells.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, SP and FF were collected from 15 healthy fertile men and 15 healthy fertile women, respectively. Tissue specimens of the endometrium were obtained from 12 women undergoing hysterectomy for benign conditions. After endometrial stromal cell isolation and culture, dose- and time-dependent cytotoxic effects of pooled FF and SP on 3D-cultured endometrial cells were evaluated. A second independent set of 12 endometrium samples was treated under determined optimum conditions and evaluated for gene expression analysis using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT–PCR).
The results of this study indicated that exposure of endometrial stromal cells to FF resulted in the elevated expression of HOXA10 (fold change=2.6, P=0.02), HOXA11 (fold change=3.3, P=0.002), LIF (fold change=4.6, P=0.0003), ITGB3 (fold change=3.5, P=0.012), and ITGAV (fold change=2.8, P=0.001) compared to untreated cells. In addition, we found that SP-treated endometrial cells showed increased mRNA levels of only the LIF gene (fold change=2.5, P=0.008) compared to untreated cells.
Human SP and FF may modulate the endometrial receptivity and improve the implantation rate in assisted reproduction cycles through the up-regulation of endometrial receptivity genes.