This study examined steroid-regulated expression of the metalloproteinase stromelysin-1 in primary human endometrial stromal and decidual cells. Immunoblot analysis using a specific polyclonal antibody against stromelysin-1 revealed that the progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) produced a time-dependent reduction in a band at 50, 000 mol wt. Although the cells were refractory to estradiol (E2) alone, E2 plus MPA further reduced the intensity of this stromelysin-1 zone. By 6 days of incubation, MPA inhibited levels of secreted stromelysin-1 by one third, and E2 plus MPA inhibited stromelysin-1 levels by two thirds compared with the control values. This differential responsiveness of the stromal cells to the two steroids is reported for several biochemical end points of decidualization. Northern analysis indicated pronounced inhibition of stromelysin-1 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) by E2 plus MPA over a concentration range that simulated circulating progesterone levels of the luteal phase (10-8 mol/L) through pregnancy (10-6 mol/L). After suppression of stromelysin-1 expression in the stromal cell monolayers by E2 plus MPA, steroid withdrawal led to a several-fold enhancement of stromelysin-1 mRNA by 4 days and of the stromelysin-1 protein by 7 days. Given its actions in degrading several extracellular matrix components and activating other MMP zymogens, steroid withdrawal-enhanced stromelysin-1 activity could mediate a proteolytic cascade that promotes the rapid tissue destruction and vascular disruption associated with menstruation. Stromelysin-1 expression by cultured decidual cells isolated from first trimester endometrium was also reduced by MPA and synergistically reduced by E2 plus MPA. As activation of the 92-kilodalton gelatinase/type IV collagenase, a crucial mediator of trophoblast invasiveness, is stromelysin-1 dependent, reduced decidual stromelysin-1 production could help to limit trophoblast invasion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical