Interleukin-11 and leukemia inhibitory factor regulate the adhesion of endometrial epithelial cells: Implications in fertility regulation

M. Marwood, K. Visser, L. A. Salamonsen, E. Dimitriadis

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Embryo implantation requires the closely harmonized processes of apposition, attachment, and adhesion of the conceptus to the maternal endometrial epithelium. IL-11 and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), two IL-6 family cytokines, are produced by the endometrium and are absolutely required for implantation in mice. We examined the effect of IL-11 and LIF on human endometrial epithelial cell adhesion. Both cytokines increased adhesion of primary human endometrial epithelial cells to fibronectin and collagen IV. IL-11 stimulated, whereas LIF had no effect on the adhesion of trophoblast to endometrial epithelial cells. Focused oligogene arrays were used to identify extracellular matrix and adhesion molecules mRNAs regulated by endometrial epithelial cells. We demonstrated by real-time RT-PCR and antibody arrays that both cytokines increased integrin-α2 mRNA and protein by endometrial epithelial cells. Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)-3 inhibition reduced IL-11- and LIF-mediated epithelial cell adhesion to fibronectin, suggesting both cytokines regulated adhesion via phosphorylation of STAT3. Addition of either IL-11 neutralizing antibody and IL-11 or LIF and LIF antagonist to endometrial epithelial cells abolished cytokine induced phosphorylated STAT3. LIF but not IL-11 induced adhesion to collagen IV was reduced by an integrin-α2β1 neutralizing antibody. This study demonstrated that IL-11 and LIF regulated endometrial epithelial cell adhesion, suggesting that targeting IL-11 and LIF may be useful in regulating fertility by either enhancing or blocking implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2915-2923
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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