Deficiency of PARP-1 and PARP-2 in the mouse uterus results in decidualization failure and pregnancy loss

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Oct 5;118(40):e2109252118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2109252118.


Miscarriage is a common complication of pregnancy for which there are few clinical interventions. Deficiency in endometrial stromal cell decidualization is considered a major contributing factor to pregnancy loss; however, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of decidual deficiency are incomplete. ADP ribosylation by PARP-1 and PARP-2 has been linked to physiological processes essential to successful pregnancy outcomes. Here, we report that the catalytic inhibition or genetic ablation of PARP-1 and PARP-2 in the uterus lead to pregnancy loss in mice. Notably, the absence of PARP-1 and PARP-2 resulted in increased p53 signaling and an increased population of senescent decidual cells. Molecular and histological analysis revealed that embryo attachment and the removal of the luminal epithelium are not altered in uterine Parp1, Parp2 knockout mice, but subsequent decidualization failure results in pregnancy loss. These findings provide evidence for a previously unknown function of PARP-1 and PARP-2 in mediating decidualization for successful pregnancy establishment.

Keywords: ADP-ribosylation; PARP-1; PARP-2; pregnancy; uterus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Decidua / metabolism*
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 / metabolism*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Uterus / metabolism*


  • Parp1 protein, mouse
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Parp2 protein, mouse