© The Author(s) 2017. Endometrial decidualization represents an essential step for the successful implantation of the embryo; however, the molecular mechanism behind this differentiation process remains unclear. This study aimed to identify novel microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in the regulation of decidual gene expression in human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs). An in vitro analysis of primary undifferentiated and decidualizing HESCs was conducted. HESCs were isolated from hysterectomy specimens from normally cycling premenopausal women with uterine fibroids, who were not on hormonal treatment at the time of surgery. Primary HESCs were expanded in culture and decidualized with 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and medroxyprogesterone acetate. Microarray analysis identified six miRNAs differentially expressed in response to decidualization of HESCs. All but one miRNA were downregulated upon decidualization, including miR-542-3p. We demonstrated that miR-542-3p overexpression inhibits the induction of major decidual marker genes, including IGFBP1, WNT4 and PRL. In addition, miR-542-3p overexpression inhibited the morphological transformation of HESCs in response to deciduogenic cues. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed that the 3′-untranslated region of IGFBP1 mRNA is targeted by miR-542-3p. The results suggest that miR-542-3p plays an important role in endometrial decidualization by regulating the expression of major decidual marker genes.
Tochigi, H., Kajihara, T., Mizuno, Y., Mizuno, Y., Tamaru, S., Kamei, Y., … Ishihara, O. (2017). Loss of MIR-542-3p enhances IGFBP-1 expression in decidualizing human endometrial stromal cells. Scientific Reports, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep40001