The latest medical research on Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about reproductive endocrinology & infertility gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Expression profiles of circular RNA in human placental villus and decidua and prediction of drugs for recurrent spontaneous abortion.

American Journal of

We aimed to evaluate potential biomarkers and candidate drugs for recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) and explore functional circular RNA pathways involved in regulating RSA.

Expression profiles of placental villus and decidua samples derived from females with RSA and those with healthy pregnancies who underwent induced abortion were analyzed using high-throughput RNA whole transcriptome sequencing. Abnormally expressed circRNAs in a larger cohort of samples were validated using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Drug discovery and molecular docking were performed using online databases and the Autodock tool, respectively.

In total, 2,103 and 2,160 circular RNAs were detected in three pairs of villi and three pairs of decidual tissues, respectively. A total of 22 circular RNAs, 58 miRNAs, and 393 mRNAs with significantly different expression patterns were identified. Five circular RNAs were verified, and the expression of hsa_circ_0088485 was significantly upregulated in the RSA group (p = 0.041) with a high area under the curve value (0.727), sensitivity (76.5%), and specificity (64.7%). GO and KEGG enrichment analyses indicated that differentially expressed genes were associated with angiogenesis and cell adhesion. Drug discovery and molecular docking were analyzed based on 93 differentially expressed mRNAs of the ceRNA network. A total of 36 chemicals were identified as putative bioactive molecules for RSA, and one representative chemical was identified for docking with six proteins.

These findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of regulation of RSA by circular RNA and its clinical diagnosis and treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PD-1 Mediates Decidual γδ T Cells Cytotoxicity During Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.

American Journal of

Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is one of the big challenges of normal pregnancy. Immune dysregulation has been proposed for the key underline mechanisms of RPL. However, the essential roles of T cells, especially γδ T cells, have not been defined.

Decidua were obtained from normal pregnancy women or recurrent pregnancy loss patients and the surface molecules of γδ T cells in decidua were evaluated via flow cytometric analysis. The expression of PD-1 in clinical samples was analyzed by immunohistochemistry assay. The intracellular cytokines of decidual PD-1+ and PD-1- γδ T cells were evaluated by flow cytometric analysis. The cytotoxicity of PD-1- γδ T cells were confirmed via an in vitro co-culture experiment. The specific inhibitors for Erk, p38 and JNK against the MAPK pathway were added to the co-culture media to evaluate the functions of the Erk, p38 and JNK.

We demonstrated that PD-1 was significantly decreased on decidual tissue γδ T cells of patients with RPL, resulting in the enhanced cytotoxicity of γδ T cells against trophoblasts. We further elucidated an Erk-dependent TNF-α production mediates the γδ T cell cytotoxicity against the trophoblast cells. Finally, the reduced expression of PD-L1 in the villi tissues of patients with RPL might be the cause of the reduction of PD-1 on the tissue γδ T cells.

Our study uncovers an important role of PD-1 expression on decidual γδ T cells in maintaining the normal pregnancy, and may provide a new strategy for immune therapy against RPL. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Expression of antimicrobial peptides in the amniotic fluid of women with cervical insufficiency.

American Journal of

Cervical insufficiency (CI) is associated with intra-amniotic infection or inflammation. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in amniotic fluid may protect the fetus against microbial invasion, giving their broad-spectrum microbiocidal properties. We evaluated changes in amniotic fluid AMP expression in women with CI and assessed whether these changes are related to their pregnancy outcomes.

We evaluated amniotic fluid human neutrophil peptide 3 (HNP-3), human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2), and LL-37 levels in 66 women with CI and 25 normal controls at 16-24 weeks of gestation. The CI group was divided into short cervix and cervical dilation groups, and the cervical dilation group was further divided into preterm and full-term delivery groups according to the pregnancy outcomes, and AMP expression was analyzed in each group.

HNP-3 and hBD-2 levels were higher in women with CI than in normal controls and in the cervical dilation as compared to the short cervix group. Among women with cervical dilation, 22 delivered at full-term, and 23 had spontaneous preterm births. The hBD-2 level in amniotic fluid mid-pregnancy was higher in the full-term delivery than in the preterm delivery groups. However, LL-37 levels in amniotic fluid were low in women with CI and normal controls.

Amniotic fluid HNP-3 and hBD-2 levels increased in women with CI compared with normal controls. Moreover, increased amniotic fluid hBD-2 levels mid-pregnancy were associated with favorable pregnancy outcomes in women with CI. AMPs in the amniotic fluid may participate in host defense against ascending infection in women with CI. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The Immunobiology of Preterm Labor and Birth: Intra-Amniotic Inflammation or Breakdown of Maternal-Fetal Homeostasis.


Preterm birth, the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, results from preterm labor, a syndrome that includes multiple etiol...

PLCzeta as the sperm factor that activates eggs: 20 years on.


One of the simplest and most significant questions that we can ask about fertilization is: how does the sperm activate the egg? It has been known s...

Treatment of high fat diet-induced obese pregnant mice with IL-6 receptor antibody does not ameliorate placental function and fetal growth restriction.

American Journal of

Pregnancy complications and adverse birth outcomes are in part fueled by the rise in obesity and its associated co-morbidities in western societies. Fetal healthy development and placental function are disturbed by an obese, inflammatory environment associated with cytokines, such as interleukin-6, causing inadequate supply of nutrients to the fetus and perinatal programming with severe health consequences.

Mice received high fat diet (HFD) before and during gestation to induce obesity. We performed an IL-6 receptor antibody (MR16-1) treatment in pregnant obese mice at embryonic days E0.5, E7.5 and E14.5 to investigate whether this could ameliorate HFD-induced and obesity-associated placental dysfunction, evaluated by stereology and western blot, and improve offspring outcome at E15.5 in obese dams.

We observed fewer fetuses below the 10th percentile and placental vascularization was less aggravated following MR16-1 treatment of obese dams, showing slight improvements in labyrinth zone (Lz) vascularization. However, placental dysfunction and fetal growth restriction were still apparent in MR16-1 dams compared to lean control dams. Molecular analysis showed significantly elevated IL-6 level in placentas of MR16-1 treated dams.

Treatment with MR16-1 blocks IL-6 signaling in the placenta, but has only limited effects on preventing HFD-associated placental dysfunction and offspring outcomes in mice, suggesting further mechanisms in the deterioration of placental vascularization and fetal nutrient supply as a consequence of maternal obesity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Does hormonal therapy improve sperm retrieval rates in men with non-obstructive azoospermia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Human Reproduction Update

The beneficial effects of hormonal therapy in stimulating spermatogenesis in patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) and either normal gonadotrophins or hypergonadotropic hypogonadism prior to surgical sperm retrieval (SSR) is controversial. Although the European Association of Urology guidelines state that hormone stimulation is not recommended in routine clinical practice, a significant number of patients undergo empiric therapy prior to SSR. The success rate for SSR from microdissection testicular sperm extraction is only 40-60%, thus hormonal therapy could prove to be an effective adjunctive therapy to increase SSR rates.

The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the SSR rates in men with NOA (excluding those with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) receiving hormone therapy compared to placebo or no treatment. The secondary objective was to compare the effects of hormonal therapy in normogonadotropic and hypergonadotropic NOA men.

A literature search was performed using the Medline, Embase, Web of Science and databases from 01 January 1946 to 17 September 2020. We included all studies where hormone status was confirmed. We excluded non-English language and animal studies. Heterogeneity was calculated using I2 statistics and risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane tools. We performed a meta-analysis on all the eligible controlled trials to determine whether hormone stimulation (irrespective of class) improved SSR rates and also whether this was affected by baseline hormone status (hypergonadotropic versus normogonadotropic NOA men). Sensitivity analyses were performed when indicated.

A total of 3846 studies were screened and 22 studies were included with 1706 participants. A higher SSR rate in subjects pre-treated with hormonal therapy was observed (odds ratio (OR) 1.96, 95% CI: 1.08-3.56, P = 0.03) and this trend persisted when excluding a study containing only men with Klinefelter syndrome (OR 1.90, 95% CI: 1.03-3.51, P = 0.04). However, the subgroup analysis of baseline hormone status demonstrated a significant improvement only in normogonadotropic men (OR 2.13, 95% CI: 1.10-4.14, P = 0.02) and not in hypergonadotropic patients (OR 1.73, 95% CI: 0.44-6.77, P = 0.43). The literature was at moderate or severe risk of bias.

This meta-analysis demonstrates that hormone therapy is not associated with improved SSR rates in hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. While hormone therapy improved SSR rates in eugonadal men with NOA, the quality of evidence was low with a moderate to high risk of bias. Therefore, hormone therapy should not be routinely used in men with NOA prior to SSR and large scale, prospective randomized controlled trials are needed to validate the meta-analysis findings.

Irisin and the Fibronectin type III Domain-Containing Family: Structure, signalling and role in female reproduction.


Dietary stress such as obesity and short-term changes in energy balance can disrupt ovarian function leading to infertility. Adipose tissue secrete...

ICSI and the Discovery of the Sperm Factor and PLCζ1.


The discovery of PLCζ1 nearly twenty years ago as the primary Ca2+ oscillation inducing factor in the sperm of mammals represented a significant br...

Follicular free fatty acid metabolic signatures and their effects on oocyte competence in non-obese PCOS patients.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by various endocrine/metabolic disorders and impaired reproductive potent...

Three-dimensional analysis and in vivo imaging for sperm release and transport in the murine seminiferous tubule.


Spermatozoa released from Sertoli cells must be transported to the epididymis. However, the mechanism of the luminal flow in seminiferous tubules h...

The structure and function relationship of sperm PLC-zeta.


In 2002, sperm-specific phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) was discovered and through these twenty years, it has been established as the predominant sperm...