Cytokines and Blastocyst Hatching

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Blastocyst implantation into the uterine endometrium establishes early pregnancy. This event is regulated by blastocyst- and/or endometrium-derived molecular factors which include hormones, growth factors, cell adhesion molecules, cytokines and proteases. Their coordinated expression and function are critical for a viable pregnancy. A rate-limiting event that immediately precedes implantation is the hatching of blastocyst. Ironically, blastocyst hatching is tacitly linked to peri-implantation events, although it is a distinct developmental phenomenon. The exact molecular network regulating hatching is still unclear. A number of implantation-associated molecular factors are expressed in the pre-implanting blastocyst. Among others, cytokines, expressed by peri-implantation blastocysts, are thought to be important for hatching, making blastocysts implantation competent. Pro-inflammatory (IL-6, LIF, GM-CSF) and anti-inflammatory (IL-11, CSF-1) cytokines improve hatching rates; they modulate proteases (MMPs, tPAs, cathepsins and ISP1). However, functional involvement of cytokines and their specific mediation of hatching-associated proteases are unclear. There is a need to understand mechanistic roles of cytokines and proteases in blastocyst hatching. This review will assess the available knowledge on blastocyst-derived pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and their role in potentially regulating blastocyst hatching. They have implications in our understanding of early embryonic loss and infertility in mammals, including humans.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles