L-Selectin ligands in human endometrium: Comparison of fertile and infertile subjects

L. Margarit, D. Gonzalez, P. D. Lewis, L. Hopkins, C. Davies, R. S. Conlan, L. Joels, J. O. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


BACKGROUNDL-selectin ligands, localized to the luminal epithelium at the time of implantation, may support the early stages of blastocyst attachment. We have assessed the expression of two L-selectin ligands, defined by MECA-79 and HECA-452 monoclonal antibodies, and the sulfotransferase GlcNAc6ST-2, involved in generation of L-selectin ligand epitopes, in the secretory phase of the endometrium from fertile and infertile patients.METHODSEndometrial samples were obtained from 33 fertile, 26 PCOS, 25 endometriosis and 33 patients diagnosed with unexplained infertility. L-selectin ligands and GlcNAc6ST-2 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting.RESULTSImmunohistochemical staining of uterine epithelium, from fertile and infertile women, demonstrated differential expression of MECA-79 and HECA-452 epitopes. In fertile women in the secretory phase MECA-79 was more strongly expressed, particularly on the lumen, than in infertile women. HECA-452 staining was significantly stronger in the glands in PCOS and endometriosis patients than in fertile women. GlcNAc6ST-2 expression was reduced in infertile patients, correlating with MECA-79 expression.CONCLUSIONSThis study demonstrated significant differences in expression of L-selectin ligands between fertile and infertile women in natural cycles, and could contribute to patient assessment prior to initiating fertility treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2767-2777
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Endometrium
  • Fertility
  • HECA-452
  • L-selectin ligands
  • MECA-79

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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