Endometrial signaling pathways during ovarian stimulation for assisted reproduction technology

Laura Detti, Rebecca A. Uhlmann, Nicole M. Fletcher, Michael P. Diamond, Ghassan M. Saed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the effects of different hormonal levels on endometrial biochemical development during ovulation induction for assisted reproduction technology (ART) cycles. Design Prospective controlled study. Setting University center. Patient(s) Nine women during a natural cycle (control) and 9 oocyte donors (treated) during an ART cycle. Intervention(s) At the time consistent with day 3 embryo transfer (LH+5 in control, hCG+5 in treated), transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, and blood sampling were performed. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to measure mRNA levels for insulin receptor (InsR), type I IGF receptor (IGFRI), prolactin receptor (PRL-R), androgen receptor (AR), TSH receptor (TSHR), nuclear receptors for T3 and T4 (TRα1, TRα2, and TRβ1), iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO2), and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor (VDR) in the endometrial tissue. Main Outcome Measure(s) Biochemical endometrial development. Result(s) IGFRI mRNA levels were 69% lower in treated patients than in control subjects, 0.12 ± 0.005 pg/μg RNA versus 0.39 ± 0.01 pg/μg RNA. TSHR mRNA was 57% lower, 2.6 ± 0.1 fg/μg RNA versus 6.0 ± 0.2 fg/μg RNA. TRα1 and TRα2 mRNA did not change, but TRβ1 mRNA levels were 63% higher. DIO2 mRNA was 63% lower, 1.2 ± 0.07 pg/μg RNA versus 3.2 ± 0.2 pg/μg RNA. InsR mRNA levels, despite being 68% lower in treated patients, did not reach significance, and PRL-R, AR, and VDR did not significantly change. Conclusion(s) Exposure of the endometrium to ovarian stimulation appears to influence insulin and thyroid hormone signaling pathways in the decidua at day 3 embryo transfer, whereas prolactin, androgen, and vitamin D pathways are uninfluenced. These findings echo the known delayed endometrial maturation during ovarian stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-894
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ART
  • Endometrium
  • GnRH-antagonist
  • deciduas
  • development
  • hormone receptors
  • real time RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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