Infertility in female mice lacking the receptor for interleukin 11 is due to a defective uterine response to implantation

Lorraine Robb, Ruili Li, Lynne Hartley, Marshal H. Nandurkar, Frank Koentgen, C. Glenn Begley

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During early pregnancy, in response to the implanting embryo, the surrounding uterine stroma undergoes a dramatic transformation into a specialized tissue known as the decidua. The decidua encapsulates the developing embryo, facilitating nutrient transfer and limiting trophoblast invasion. Here we show that female mice with a null mutation of the interleukin-11 receptor alpha chain are infertile because of defective decidualization. A temporal analysis revealed IL-11 expression is maximal in the normal pregnant uterus at the time of decidualization, and in situ hybridization studies showed expression of the IL-11 and the IL-11 receptor alpha chain in the developing decidual cells. These observations reveal a previously unrecognized critical role for IL-11 signaling in female reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

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