Wnt signalling in implantation, decidualisation and placental differentiation - Review

Stefan Eugen Sonderegger, Jurgen Pollheimer, Martin Knofler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The family of secreted Wingless ligands plays major roles in embryonic development, stem cell maintenance, differentiation and tissue homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the canonical Wnt pathway involving nuclear recruitment of I?-catenin and activation of Wnt-dependent transcription factors is also critically involved in development and differentiation of the diverse reproductive tissues. Here, we summarise our present knowledge about expression, regulation and function of Wnt ligands and their frizzled receptors in murine and human endometrial and placental cell types. In mice, Wnt signalling promotes early trophoblast lineage development, blastocyst activation, implantation and chorion-allantois fusion. Moreover, different Wnt ligands play essential roles in the development of the murine uterine tract, in cycling endometrial cells and during decidualisation. In humans, estrogen-dependent endometrial cell proliferation, decidualisation, trophoblast attachment and invasion were shown to be controlled by the particular signalling pathway. Failures in Wnt signalling are associated with infertility, endometriosis, endometrial cancer and gestational diseases such as complete mole placentae and choriocarcinomas. However, our present knowledge is still scarce due to the complexity of the Wnt network involving numerous ligands, receptors and non-canonical pathways. Hence, much remains to be learned about the role of different Wnt signalling cascades in reproductive cell types and their changes under pathological conditions. A? 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839 - 847
Number of pages9
JournalPlacenta
Volume31
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this