LIF endometrial expression is impaired in women with unexplained infertility while LIF-R expression in all infertility sub-groups

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The main objective of our study was to study LIF and LIF-R endometrial expression during the implantation window in the various sub-groups of infertile women according to infertility cause. A prospective observational case-control study was performed from March 2013 to February 2016. Infertile women consisted of the patients’ group (group 2) while fertile women were the control group (group 1). Infertile women were divided according to infertility cause in women with tubal factor (group 2a), poor ovarian reserve (group 2b), endometriosis (group 2c) and unexplained infertility (group 2d). Endometrial biopsy was performed on 7th–8th postovulatory menstrual day. Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) and LIF-Receptor (LIF-R) expression in epithelial and stromal cells were assessed with Immunohistochemistry (IHC). There were 20 infertile with poor ovarian reserve, 15 with tubal factor, 10 with endometriosis and 15 with unexplained infertility included in the analysis. LIF expression in patients with unexplained infertility was significantly compared with controls (P = 0.006). No significant difference was observed between patients with tubal factor, poor ovarian reserve and endometriosis compared with control group (P = 0.78, P = 0.44 and P = 0.56 respectively). Analysis of LIF-R expression in sub-categories of infertility indicated that expression was significantly decreased in all sub-groups of infertility. Our study indicated impaired LIF expression levels only in women with unexplained infertility, while LIF-R expression was impaired in all sub-groups of infertile women. Further multicenter prospective studies should be performed in order to assess the exact etiopathogenetic role of these cytokines in the molecular background of infertility.

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