Genes involved in implantation

L. A. Salamonsen, G. Nie, E. Dimitriadis, L. Robb, J. K. Findlay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The endometrium is normally a hostile environment for an embryo, except for a short phase in each reproductive cycle known as the 'window of receptivity'. The precise molecular events involved in this transformation are not well understood. Application of state-of-the-art techniques of the 1990s has identified some of the genes involved, which are reviewed here. Mice with a null mutation in either the gene for leukemia inhibitory factor or the interleukin-11 receptor α chain are infertile, owing in both cases to a failure of embryo implantation. Both of these genes are expressed in the human endometrium with patterns suggesting a role in human fertility. The technique of RNA differential display has been applied to a comparison of the expression of genes at implantation sites v. inter-implantation sites in the mouse uterus on the first day of implantation, and has defined additional genes whose products may be important for this process. Among these are the calcium-binding protein D9K, the monoclonal non-specific suppressor factor β, and the splicing factor SC35. The major challenge is to determine whether manipulation of such genes can increase or decrease endometrial receptivity in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Calbindin-D9K
  • Interleukin-11
  • Leukemia inhibitory factor
  • Monoclonal non-specific suppressor factor β
  • Splicing factor SC35

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