The endometrium (the mucosal lining of the uterus) is a dynamic tissue that undergoes extensive remodeling, secretory transformation in preparation for implantation of an embryo, inflammatory and proteolytic activity during menstruation, and rapid postmenstrual repair. A plethora of local factors influence these processes. Recently, a cysteine-rich protein, CRISP3, a clade of the CRISP, antigen 5, pathogenesis-related (CAP) protein superfamily, has been implicated in uterine function. The localization, regulation, and potential function of CRISP3 in both the human and mouse endometrium is described. CRISP3 localizes to the luminal and glandular epithelium of the endometrium within both species, with increased immunoreactivity during the proliferative phase of the human cycle. CRISP3 also localizes to neutrophils, particularly within the premenstrual human endometrium and during the postbreakdown repair phase of a mouse model of endometrial breakdown and repair. Endometrial CRISP3 is produced by primary human endometrial epithelial cells and secreted in vivo to accumulate in the uterine cavity. Secreted CRISP3 is more abundant in uterine lavage fluid during the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Human endometrial epithelial CRISP3 is present in both a glycosylated and a nonglycosylated form in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of endometrial epithelial cells in vitro with recombinant CRISP3 enhances both adhesion and proliferation. These data suggest roles for epithelial and neutrophil-derived CRISP3 in postmenstrual endometrial repair and regeneration.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4