SLeX/L-selectin mediates adhesion in vitro implantation model

Shuai Liu, Xuesong Yang, Yuejian Liu, Xiaoqi Wang, Qiu Yan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The complex implantation process is initiated by the recognition and adhesion between the embryo and uterine endometrial epithelium. The expression and interactions between the adhesive molecules from both fetal and maternal sides are crucial for the successful implantation. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression and adhesive function of sLeX on the trophoblasts and L-selectin on uterine epithelial cells mediated the adhesion at the fetal-maternal interface, and to further explore whether this adhesion system could induce endometrial apoptosis, using in vitro implantation model consisting of the human trophoblast cell line (JAR) and human uterine epithelial cell line (RL95-2). The results showed that sLeX was expressed on JAR cells by indirect immunofluorescence staining. After transfection of JAR cells with fucosyltransferase VII (FUT7) which is the key enzyme for sLeX synthesis, the expression of FUT7 and sLeX synthesis were increased, and the percent adhesion of trophoblast cells to RL95-2 cell monolayer was significantly increased (P < 0.01). L-selectin was strongly expressed but not E- and P-selectin on epithelial RL95-2 cells by RT-PCR, Western blot. Blocking L-selectin with specific antibody or heparin pretreatment in RL95-2 cells inhibited the adhesion of JAR cells to RL95-2 cell monolayer. Furthermore, regulating the expression of sLeX on JAR cells or blocking L-selectin on RL95-2 cells could activate the apoptosis of uterine epithelial cells. These results suggest the sLeX/L-selectin adhesion system at fetal-maternal interface not only mediates the adhesion of embryo to uterine epithelium, but also effectively induces the apoptosis in uterine epithelium. The study supplies a molecular basis for the elucidation of the initial recognition and adhesion during embryo implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Embryo
  • Endometrium
  • Implantation
  • L-selectin
  • sLeX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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