During embryo implantation, the blastocyst interacts with and regulates the endometrium, and endometrial fluid secreted by the endometrial epithelium nurtures the embryo. Here, we propose that maternal microRNAs (miRNAs) might act as transcriptomic modifier of the pre-implantation embryo. Microarray profiling revealed that six of 27 specific, maternal miRNAs were differentially expressed in the human endometrial epithelium during the window of implantation--a brief phase of endometrial receptivity to the blastocyst--and were released into the endometrial fluid. Further investigation revealed that hsa-miR-30d, the expression levels of which were most significantly upregulated, was secreted as an exosome-associated molecule. Exosome-associated and free hsa-miR-30d was internalized by mouse embryos via the trophectoderm, resulting in an indirect overexpression of genes encoding for certain molecules involved in the murine embryonic adhesion phenomenon--Itgb3, Itga7 and Cdh5. Indeed, this finding was supported by evidence in vitro: treating murine embryos with miR-30d resulted in a notable increase in embryo adhesion. Our results suggest a model in which maternal endometrial miRNAs act as transcriptomic modifiers of the pre-implantation embryo.
Keywords: Embryo adhesion; Endometrial fluid; Has-miR-30d; Pre-implantation embryo.
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.