Identification of genes regulated by leukemia-inhibitory factor in the mouse uterus at the time of implantation

Mol Endocrinol. 2004 Sep;18(9):2185-95. doi: 10.1210/me.2004-0110. Epub 2004 Jun 3.


The endometrium is prepared for implantation by the actions of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4). In mice the luminal epithelium (LE) only becomes fully receptive to the attaching blastocyst in response to the nidatory estrogen surge on d 4 of pregnancy. The cytokine leukemia-inhibitory factor (LIF) is rapidly induced by nidatory estrogen and has been shown to be the primary mediator of its action. Implantation fails in the absence of LIF, and injection of LIF on d 4 of pregnancy can substitute for the nidatory estrogen. In this study, we sought to identify genes regulated by LIF in the uterine epithelium. We used oligonucleotide microarrays to compare the transcript profiles of paired uterine horns from LIF-deficient MF1 mice after intraluminal injection of LIF or PBS on d 4 of pseudopregnancy. IGF-binding protein 3 was identified as a gene up-regulated by LIF; this was confirmed by RT-PCR. In situ hybridization showed that the primary site of IGF-binding protein 3 expression is the luminal epithelium (LE), the known site of LIF action in the uterus. We identified two other genes: amphiregulin and immune response gene-1, the expression of which were also up-regulated by LIF. Immune response gene 1 has recently been shown to be essential for implantation. Expression of all three of these genes in the LE is known to be regulated by P4. The expression of osteoblast-specific factor 2 and leukocyte 12/15 lipoxygenase, which are also expressed in LE under the control of P4, were not increased by LIF. This suggests that one of the actions of LIF on LE may be to enhance the expression of a subset of P4-regulated genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amphiregulin
  • Animals
  • EGF Family of Proteins
  • Embryo Implantation / genetics*
  • Endometrium / chemistry
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Endometrium / physiology
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Hydro-Lyases / genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / genetics
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Mice
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Amphiregulin
  • Areg protein, mouse
  • EGF Family of Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lif protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • Irg1 protein, mouse