Successful embryo implantation requires a synchronized dialogue between a competent blastocyst and the receptive endometrium, which occurs in a limited time period known as the “window of implantation.” Recent studies suggested that down-regulation of olfactomedin 1 (OLFM1) in the endometrium and fallopian tube is associated with receptive endometrium and tubal ectopic pregnancy in humans. Interestingly, the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) induces miR-212 expression, which modulates OLFM1 and C-terminal binding protein 1 (CTBP1) expressions in mouse granulosa cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that embryo-derived hCG would increase miR-212 expression and down-regulate OLFM1 and CTBP1 expressions to favor embryo attachment onto the female reproductive tract. We found that hCG stimulated the expression of miR-212 and down-regulated OLFM1 but not CTBP1 mRNA in both human endometrial (Ishikawa) and fallopian (OE-E6/E7) epithelial cells. However, hCG suppressed the expression of OLFM1 and CTBP1 proteins in both cell lines. The 3′UTR of both OLFM1 and CTBP1 contained binding sites for miR-212. The miR-212 precursor suppressed luciferase expression, whereas the miR-212 inhibitor stimulated luciferase expression of the wild-type (WT)-OLFM1 and WT-CTBP1 reporter constructs. Furthermore, hCG (25 IU/ml) treatments stimulated trophoblastic (Jeg-3) spheroid (blastocyst surrogate) attachment onto Ishikawa and OE-E6/E7 cells. Transfection of miR-212 precursor increased Jeg-3 spheroid attachment onto Ishikawa cells and decreased OLFM1 and CTBP1 protein expressions, whereas the opposite occurred with miR-212 inhibitor. Taken together, hCG stimulated miR-212, which in turn down-regulated OLFM1 and CTBP1 expression in fallopian and endometrial epithelial cells to favor spheroid attachment.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5