, a bio/informatics shared resource is still "open for business" - Visit the CDS website
Infertility and spontaneous pregnancy losses are an enduring problem to women's health. The establishment of pregnancy depends on successful implantation, where a complex series of interactions occurs between the heterogeneous cell types of the uterus and blastocyst. Although a number of genes are implicated in embryo-uterine interactions during implantation, genetic evidence suggests that only a small number of them are critical to this process. To obtain a global view and identify novel pathways of implantation, we used a dual screening strategy to analyze the expression of nearly 10,000 mouse genes by microarray analysis. Comparison of implantation and interimplantation sites by a conservative statistical approach revealed 36 up-regulated genes and 27 down-regulated genes at the implantation site. We also compared the uterine gene expression profile of progesterone-treated, delayed implanting mice to that of mice in which delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen. The results show up-regulation of 128 genes and down-regulation of 101 genes after termination of the delayed implantation. A combined analysis of these experiments showed specific up-regulation of 27 genes both at the implantation site and during uterine activation, representing a broad diversity of molecular functions. In contrast, the majority of genes that were decreased in the combined analysis were related to host immunity or the immune response, suggesting the importance of these genes in regulating the uterine environment for the implanting blastocyst. Collectively, we identified genes with recognized roles in implantation, genes with potential roles in this process, and genes whose functions have yet to be defined in this event. The identification of unique genetic markers for the onset of implantation signifies that genome-wide analysis coupled with functional assays is a promising approach to resolve the molecular pathways required for successful implantation.