Role of connexins in female reproductive system and endometriosis

J Gynecol Obstet Hum Reprod. 2020 Jun;49(6):101705. doi: 10.1016/j.jogoh.2020.101705. Epub 2020 Feb 1.


Gap junction form channels between the cells and facilitate the function of cellular cross talk. Connexins, the gap junction proteins play an essential role in female reproductive health and its expression anomalies are correlated with female reproductive disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome, recurrent miscarriage, pre-term birth and endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic gynecologic disorder caused by ectopic endometrial lesions growing outside the uterine cavity. Embryonic implantation is adversely affected in case of endometriosis leading to infertility. Endometriosis also interferes with ovulatory functions, reduces fertilization and impaires blastocyst implantation. There lies a lacunae in understanding of the role of gap junctions protein connexins in endometriosis. Therefore, this study discusses the role of connexins in improving female fertility by taming the processes of oogenesis, germ line development, uterine receptivity, placental growth, implantation, decidualization and concludes by focusing the role of connexins in endometriosis.

Keywords: Connexins; Endometriosis; Gap junctions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Connexins / physiology*
  • Decidua / physiopathology
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology
  • Endometriosis / complications
  • Endometriosis / pathology
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Endometrium / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gap Junctions / physiology
  • Genitalia, Female / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / therapy
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Ovulation / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Uterus / physiopathology


  • Connexins