Leukemia inhibitory factor and interleukin-11: Critical regulators in the establishment of pregnancy

Premila Paiva, Ellen Menkhorst, Lois Salamonsen, Evdokia Dimitriadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Blastocyst implantation into a receptive endometrium is critical to the establishment of pregnancy and is tightly regulated by factors within the blastocyst-endometrial micro-environment. Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and interleukin-11 (IL11) have key roles during implantation. Female mice with a null mutation in the LIF or IL11RA gene are infertile due to a complete failure of implantation or a defective differentiation/decidualization response to the implanting blastocyst, respectively. LIF and IL11 deficiency during pregnancy is associated with infertility and miscarriage in women. Numerous cell populations at the maternal-fetal interface are regulated by LIF/IL11 including the endometrial epithelium, decidualizing stroma, placental trophoblasts and leukocytes. This review focuses on the roles of LIF/IL11 during early pregnancy and highlights their potential as contraceptive targets and therapeutic agents for infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Cytokine
  • Fertility
  • IL11
  • Implantation
  • LIF

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