Uterine Deletion of Gp130 or Stat3 Shows Implantation Failure with Increased Estrogenic Responses

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Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a downstream target of estrogen, is essential for implantation in mice. LIF function is thought to be mediated by its binding to LIF receptor (LIFR) and recruitment of coreceptor GP130 (glycoprotein 130), and this receptor complex then activates signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1/3. However, the importance of LIFR and GP130 acting via STAT3 in implantation remains uncertain, because constitutive inactivation of Lifr, Gp130, or Stat3 shows embryonic lethality in mice. To address this issue, we generated mice with conditional deletion of uterine Gp130 or Stat3 and show that both GP130 and STAT3 are critical for uterine receptivity and implantation. Implantation failure in these deleted mice is associated with higher uterine estrogenic responses prior to the time of implantation. These heightened estrogenic responses are not due to changes in ovarian hormone levels or expression of their nuclear receptors. In the deleted mice, estrogen-responsive gene, Lactoferrin (Ltf), and Mucin 1 protein, were up-regulated in the uterus. In addition, progesterone-responsive genes, Hoxa10 and Indian hedgehog (Ihh), were markedly down-regulated in STAT3-inactivated uteri. These changes in uteri of deleted mice were reflected by the failure of differentiation of the luminal epithelium, which is essential for blastocyst attachment.

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