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Papers of the Week

2019 Sep 01

Mol Hum Reprod



The estrogen-regulated lncRNA H19/miR-216a-5p axis alters stromal cell invasion and migration via ACTA2 in endometriosis.


Xu Z, Zhang L, Yu Q, Zhang Y, Yan L, Chen Z-J
Mol Hum Reprod. 2019 Sep 01; 25(9):550-561.
PMID: 31323679.


Fibrotic tissue may contribute to the origin of some endometriosis-related symptoms, such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Alterations in the H19/miR-216a-5p/ACTA2 pathway may mediate the regulation of eutopic endometrial stromal cell (euESC) invasion and migration and may represent a potential mechanism underlying fibrous tissue formation or fibrosis in women with endometriosis. In this study, we aimed to determine the expression of H19 and ACTA2 in endometrial tissues of women with endometriosis. Two groups of 23 infertile women with endometriosis and 23 matched infertile women without endometriosis were investigated. Primary cultured cells of endometrial tissues were analysed using RT-PCR and western blotting (WB) to determine expression of H19 and ACTA2. EdU, CCK8, and Transwell assays were used to study the functions of H19 and ACTA2. HEK 293 cells were used for luciferase assays to study miR-216a-5p binding sites with H19 and ACTA2. We found that H19 and ACTA2 levels were significantly higher in endometriosis euESCs than in control euESCs (P < 0.05) and were positively correlated in endometriosis euESCs. Luciferase assays indicated that H19 regulates ACTA2 expression via competition for inhibitory miR-216a-5p binding sites. Our results indicate that alterations in the estrogen/H19/miR-216a-5p/ACTA2 pathway regulated endometriosis euESC invasion and migration. Downregulation of H19 or ACTA2 inhibited endometriosis euESC invasion and migration, however estrogen promoted endometriosis euESC invasion and migration via H19. The main limitation of our study was that experiments were conducted in vitro and further in-vivo studies are required in the future. However, our study showed that primary cultured cells represented endometriosis cells more clearly than cell lines.