The antiapoptotic effect of galectin-3 in human endometrial cells under the regulation of estrogen and progesterone

Biol Reprod. 2012 Aug 23;87(2):39. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.112.099234. Print 2012 Aug.


Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a ubiquitously expressed gene involved in many cellular processes, has been recently recognized as a factor related to endometrial receptivity. However, the precise biological function of Gal-3 in the endometrium and its regulation is still unclear. In this study, we detected the antiapoptotic role of Gal-3 in endometrial cells and the expression of Gal-3 regulated by estrogen and progesterone. We found that expression of Gal-3 increased when exposed to the apoptosis inducer staurosporine. Gal-3-silenced endometrial cells were more sensitive to the apoptosis inducer. Estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) up-regulated Gal-3 expression, which in turn decreased the apoptotic rate of endometrial cells. Our results strongly suggested that hormonal activation of Gal-3 by E2 and P4 is involved in inhibiting endometrial cell apoptosis, playing key roles in embryo implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Line
  • Endometrium / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Estrogens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Galectin 3 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Progesterone / physiology*
  • Staurosporine
  • Up-Regulation


  • Estrogens
  • Galectin 3
  • Progesterone
  • Staurosporine