Deciphering mouse uterine receptivity for embryo implantation at single-cell resolution

Cell Prolif. 2021 Sep 23;e13128. doi: 10.1111/cpr.13128. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Mice are widely used as an animal model for studying human uterine receptivity for embryo implantation. Although transcriptional changes related to mouse uterine receptivity have been determined by using bulk RNA-seq, the data are of limited value because the uterus is a complex organ consisting of many cell types. Here, we aimed to decipher mouse uterine receptivity for embryo implantation at single-cell resolution.

Materials and methods: Single-cell RNA sequencing was performed for the pre-receptive and the receptive mouse uterus. Gene expression profiles in luminal epithelium and glandular epithelium were validated by comparing against a published laser capture microdissection (LCM)-coupled microarray dataset.

Results: We revealed 19 distinct cell clusters, including 3 stromal cell clusters, 2 epithelial cell clusters, 1 smooth muscle cell cluster, 4 endothelial cell clusters and 8 immune cell clusters. We identified global gene expression changes associated with uterine receptivity in each cell type. Additionally, we predicted signalling interactions for distinct cell types to understand the crosstalk between the blastocyst and the receptive uterus.

Conclusion: Our data provide a valuable resource for deciphering the molecular mechanism underlying uterine receptivity in mice.