Hormonal regulation of galectin 3 in trophoblasts and its effects on endometrium

Reprod Sci. 2011 Nov;18(11):1118-27. doi: 10.1177/1933719111407212. Epub 2011 May 9.


Previous studies had shown important functions of galectin 3 (Gal-3) in endometrium during embryo implantation, in regulation of endometrial cell proliferation and adhesion by interacting with integrin β3. In this study, we investigated hormonal regulation of Gal-3 in trophoblasts and its extracellular effects on endometrium. We used BeWo and RL95-2 cells as a model of trophoblastic and endometrial epithelial cells, respectively, to create an in vivo model of embryo implantation. Our results indicated that 17β-estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) induced the expression of Gal-3 and promoted its secretion from BeWo cells. The exogenous Gal-3 inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of endometrial cells (RL95-2 cells) through activation of integrin β1. We further validated the proapoptotic effect of Gal-3 secreted by trophoblastic cell on endometrial cells by culturing RL95-2 cells with Bewo cells and measuring the apoptotic rate. Our analysis provides new insight into the critical roles of Gal-3 in embryo implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology*
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology
  • Endometrium / physiology*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Galectin 3 / genetics*
  • Galectin 3 / pharmacology
  • Galectin 3 / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Integrin beta1 / physiology
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Galectin 3
  • Integrin beta1
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol