The expression pattern of MUC1 Glycoforms and other Biomarkers of Endometrial receptivity in fertile and infertile women

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


Changes in the surface epithelium of the endometrium, characterized in part by alterations in cell-surface molecules, sex steroid receptors and the appearance of pinopodes, coincide with the window of endometrial receptivity in the menstrual cycle. This study was performed to evaluate the usefulness of hematoxylin and eosin staining, scanning and transmission microscopy, and MUC1 glycoform, sex steroid receptor, and interleukin receptor (type 1) expression as biomarkers of endometrial receptivity using carefully characterized clinical fertile and infertile groups of women. Using a combination of immunohistochemistry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) called scanning immunoelectron microscopy (SIM), we confirmed that MUC1 mucin was not associated with the endometrial pinopodes, which have been linked with embryo adhesion. We also showed that failure of embryo implantation was associated with an abnormal endometrial expression of MUC1 mucin, and retention of nuclear progesterone receptor (PR) particularly in epithelial cells. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), SEM in isolation and immunohistochemistry for interleukin receptor were not shown to be useful markers. Progesterone-dependent regulation of MUC1 appears to be an important factor in determining endometrial receptivity.


Molecular Reproduction and Development