Human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) are difficult to study in vitro due to their short window of viability outside of the human body. A previously developed, stable, immortalized HESC cell line retains reproductive hormone responsiveness to in vitro decidualization assays (Krikun et al 2004). Our laboratory aims to demonstrate that the same HESC cell line responds to estradiol and progesterone as described in the Krikun et al. paper. We hypothesize the HESCs will respond normally to reproductive hormones estradiol and progesterone. Treatment with both estradiol and progesterone, at the appropriate concentrations, will initiate decidualization in HESC cultures. HESC cultures will be treated with estradiol and progesterone individually or in combination for eight days to induce hormone-dependent gene expression changes. We will collect total mRNA and generate cDNA for quantitative, real-time polymerase chain reactions (qrtPCR). This data will allow measurement of the changes in gene expression following hormone treatments. If the cells respond normally to hormones, we expect to measure increases in expression of target genes IGFBP-1, PAI-1, and TF compared to the housekeeping gene β-Actin. We expect hormone-induced decidualization of the HESCs will increase expression of CD147 (Basigin) as demonstrated in mice (Chen et al. 2009). The data will lay a foundation for future experiments to determine the necessity of CD147 in the decidualization process. We will also include the results of this study in a developing manuscript from Dr. Belton’s laboratory which we anticipate publishing in late 2021.

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Dr. Robert Belton

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