Abstract CONTEXT Progesterone (P) resistance is a hallmark of endometriosis but the underlying mechanism(s) for loss of P-sensitivity leading to lesion establishment remains poorly understood. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the association between Notch-1 signaling activation and P-resistance in the progression of endometriosis. DESIGN Case-control study; archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues SETTING University hospitals (USA, Taiwan) PATIENTS Women with endometriosis; human endometrial stromal cell line (HESC) INTERVENTION Eutopic endometria (EU) and ectopic lesions (EC) were collected from surgically diagnosed patients. Archived tissue sections of EU and EC were identified. HESC were treated with DAPT and VPA to respectively, suppress and induce Notch-1 activation. OUTCOME MEASURES Tissues were analyzed for Notch Intra-Cellular Domain 1 (NICD1) and Progesterone Receptor (PGR) protein expression by immunohistochemistry and for transcript levels of NICD1 target gene HES1, PGR, and PGR-B by qRT-PCR. DAPT- or VPA-treated HESC with and without P co-treatment were evaluated for cell numbers and for PGR, HES1, and PGR target gene DKK1 transcript levels. RESULTS Nuclear-localized stromal NICD1 protein levels were inversely associated with those of total PGR in EU and EC. Stromal EC displayed higher HES1 and lower total PGR and PGR-B, transcript levels than EU. In HESC, DAPT reduction of NICD1 decreased cell numbers and increased PGR transcript and nuclear PGR protein levels, and with P co-treatment, maintained P-sensitivity. Conversely, VPA induction of NICD1 decreased PGR transcript levels and with P co-treatment, abrogated P-induced DKK1 and maintained HES1, transcript levels. CONCLUSIONS Aberrant Notch-1 activation is associated with decreased PGR that contributes to P-resistance in endometriosis. Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial, No-Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Journal of the Endocrine Society – Oxford University Press
Published: May 25, 2018
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