Critical evaluation of human endometrial explants as an ex vivo model system: a molecular approach.

Mol Hum Reprod 2011 Apr 29;17(4):255-65. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Endocrinology Laboratory), University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.

The human endometrium is unique among adult tissues. Its functions are modulated by numerous hormones and mediators. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of human endometrial explants for studying functional effects of chemicals and drugs on gene expression biomarkers. Endometrial tissues were obtained by aspiration curettage and cultivated for up to 24 h. Relative mRNA concentrations were determined by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. Viability was assessed by light microscopy, lactate dehydrogenase assay and scanning electron microscopy. It was acceptable after 6 h of culture but reduced after 24 h. Culture-induced alterations of mRNA levels were found for progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor(α), leukemia inhibitory factor and cyclooxygenase-2 in tissues from all cycle stages. The suitability of the model to detect chemical effects was demonstrated by the down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA by chlormadinone acetate in proliferative and secretory endometrium. The model is mainly restricted by interindividual variations and varying tissue quality. An advantage is the preservation of tissue composition. We conclude that human endometrial explants are a complex model due to limited viability, difficult standardization and intrinsic alterations during culture. Experiments with this model should be performed over a limited time period under strictly controlled conditions.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gaq095DOI Listing
April 2011
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