2D-DiGE Analysis of the Human Endometrial Secretome Reveals Differences Between Receptive and Nonreceptive States in Fertile and Infertile Women

J Proteome Res. 2010 Dec 3;9(12):6256-64. doi: 10.1021/pr1004828. Epub 2010 Nov 2.


Endometrial secretions in the uterine cavity contain mediators important for endometrial receptivity and embryo implantation. Unbiased analysis of uterine fluid from a receptive versus nonreceptive time of the menstrual cycle and in fertile and infertile women will provide new insights into uterine receptivity. We hypothesized that proteomic analysis of human uterine lavages would identify proteins important for the establishment of pregnancy in humans. Lavages collected from fertile (n = 7) and infertile (n = 8) women during the midsecretory (MS) phase, and from fertile women during the midproliferative (MP) (n = 7) phase, were assessed using 2D-differential in gel electrophoresis (2D-DiGE) over a pI 4-7 range. Statistical analysis revealed 7 spots that were significantly decreased in the MP compared to the MS phase, while 18 spots showed differential expression between fertile and infertile women. A number of proteins were identified by mass spectrometry, including antithrombin III and alpha-2-macroglobulin, whose production was confirmed in endometrial epithelium. Their staining pattern suggests roles during embryo implantation. Assessment of the human endometrial secretome has identified differences in the protein content of uterine fluid with respect to receptivity and fertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antithrombin III / analysis
  • Antithrombin III / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional / methods*
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pregnancy
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Time Factors
  • Uterus / metabolism
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / analysis
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • alpha-Macroglobulins
  • Antithrombin III