The differentiation of uterine stromal fibroblasts into decidual cells is critical for establishing pregnancy. This process, called decidualization, requires the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, which mainly depends on actin dynamics and the phosphorylation status of the myosin light chain. We manipulated actin dynamics with jasplakinolide (100 nM) and latrunculin B (1 μM), both of which significantly inhibited the synthesis of decidualization markers induced by 6 days of treatment with embryo-mimicking stimulus interleukin 1beta (IL1B) and steroid hormones (SHs; 17beta-estradiol and medroxyprogesterone acetate) in the human uterine fibroblast (HuF) in vitro model. However, only jasplakinolide had long-lasting effects on the G-actin:F-actin ratio and prevented decidualization induced by the artificial stimulus cAMP (and SHs). Actin-binding protein cofilin mainly colocalized with G-actin in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm. Only some spots of colocalization between cofilin and F-actin were detected in the cytoplasm. Brief extraction of cytosolic proteins from living cells revealed that in cells treated with IL1B or cAMP (and SHs) for 6 days, cofilin was mainly detected in the nucleus. The translocation of cofilin from cytosol to nucleus was also detected in HuFs treated for 12 days with SHs, IL1B and SHs, and cAMP and SHs. The same significant translocation was confirmed in primary baboon stromal uterine fibroblasts. We conclude that changes in actin dynamics, particularly the stabilization of F-actin, have a significant negative impact on decidualization, and the translocation of cofilin to the nucleus is a key feature of this process in the primate.
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