Molecular Complexity in Establishing Uterine Receptivity and Implantation

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Sep;62(17):1964-73. doi: 10.1007/s00018-005-5230-0.


Implantation is the process by which the blastocyst comes into intimate physical and physiological contact with the uterine endometrium. This process is governed by an intimate cross-talk between the activated blastocyst and the receptive uterus. An increased understanding of mammalian implantation has been gained through the use of the mouse model. This review highlights the more recently defined signaling cascades involved in this dialogue, focusing specifically on cyclooxygenase-2-derived prostaglandins, endocannabinoids, Wnt proteins, homeotic transcription factors, and immunophilins. Unraveling the nature of these signals and discovering additional molecular cascades may lead to strategies to correct implantation failure and improve pregnancy rates in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Embryo Implantation* / genetics
  • Embryo Implantation* / physiology
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Immunophilins / metabolism
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Uterus / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins


  • Cannabinoids
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Prostaglandins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Immunophilins