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Recurrent pregnancy loss is associated with a pro-senescent decidual response during the peri-implantation window

By Emma S. Lucas, Pavle Vrljicak, Joanne Muter, Maria M Diniz-da-Costa, Paul J Brighton, Chow-Seng Kong, Julia Lipecki, Katherine Fishwick, Joshua Odendaal, Lauren J. Ewington, Siobhan Quenby, Sascha Ott, Jan J. Brosens

Posted 13 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/368829 (published DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-0763-1)

Breakdown of the feto-maternal interface in early pregnancy causes miscarriage. The cycling endometrium becomes poised to transition to a pregnant state during the midluteal implantation window, coinciding with differentiation of stromal cells into decidual cells (DC) and emergence of senescent decidual cells (snDC). Emerging evidence suggests that DC engage uterine natural killer cells to eliminate their senescent counterparts, thus enabling formation of a robust decidual matrix in pregnancy. To examine if failure to constrain snDC during the peri-implantation window increases the risk of miscarriage, we reconstructed the decidual pathway at single-cell level in vitro and demonstrated that, without immune surveillance, secondary senescence rapidly transforms DC into progesterone-resistant cells that abundantly express extracellular matrix remodelling factors. Additional single-cell analysis of midluteal endometrium identified DIO2 and SCARA5 as marker genes of a diverging decidual response in vivo . Finally, we report a conspicuous link between a pro-senescent decidual response in luteal phase endometrium and recurrent pregnancy loss, suggesting that pre-pregnancy screening and intervention may reduce the burden of miscarriage.

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