The study defines the cells needed for the development of a healthy uterus
BOSTON – Knowledge of the biological processes involved in the development of the uterus is important for understanding the health and fertility of the uterus. A research team led by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found an important insight into the type of cell that is crucial for the emergence of a functioning uterus.
These cells are defined by their expression of Misr2 +, the Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) receptor, secreted by male embryos, to prevent the maturation of structures that would cause female reproductive organs.
Although it is not surprising that Misr2 + cells will play a role in inhibiting the development of the uterus in men, researchers have found that these cells actively participate in the formation of the uterus in women. Findings are published in eLife.
"The fate of these cells in the reproductive controller in a female, in the absence of MIS, was unknown," says author David Pépin, an assistant molecular biologist at the MGH and a professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School. "In this study, we found that female cells continued to express the MIS receptor, beyond the period of sexual differentiation in mice, rats and humans. In addition, we have shown that the rodents of this cell retained sensitivity to MIS even after birth. "
The treatment of MIS rodents in the first week after birth influenced the development of the uterus and later in life led to infertility. "The findings show that the period of response to sexual differentiation signals in mammals may not be as limited as previously thought," says Pépin.
In order to discover more details, scientists analyzed neuronal cells after treatment with MIS and found that some key cell types that contribute to the uterine endometrium (substrate) were absent. Researchers suspect that Misr2 + cells usually develop into these cell types, but have been blocked when exposed to MIS.
"If there are no such cells, a large number of important signals are disturbed, which leads to abnormal development of the uterus," says Hatice Duygu Saatcioglu, the first author of the study. "This period is so critical to specifying the layers of the uterus that the exposure of MIS for several days after birth causes irreversible infertility later in life, with adults having a thin uterus, which is almost entirely composed of myometrics," says Saatcioglu.
Patricia K. Donahoe, dr. Med., Co-author and director of surgical research laboratories at MassGeneral Children's Hospital (MGHfC), a long-standing researcher of MIS functions, notes that results can provide a better understanding of infertility caused by uterine problems. "The search for cells labeled Misr2 allows further investigation of how these cells can contribute to pathological changes in the uterus that cause infertility."
In contrast, some of the findings of a study related to MIS can also be important for men, including those with a rare disorder called Muller's syndrome, in which tissues, such as the uterus, may be partially retained due to mutations in the MIS or its receptor.
About the General Hospital of Massachusetts
The General Hospital of Massachusetts, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. The MGH research institute runs the largest hospital research program in the country, with an annual research budget of more than $ 925 million and comprises more than 8,500 researchers working in more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In August 2018, MGH was again named Honor Roll in US news and a list of global reports on "The Best American Hospitals".
This story was published on: 2019-07-23. To contact the author, use the contact information in the article.
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