Regulation of HOXA-10 expression by testosterone in vitro and in the endometrium of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

Cermik D., Selam B. , Taylor H.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, vol.88, no.1, pp.238-243, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 88 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1210/jc.2002-021072
  • Page Numbers: pp.238-243


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 5% of reproductive-age women and is characterized by anovulation and increased androgen production. Despite the ability to correct ovulatory disorders, pregnancy rates remain paradoxically low, and spontaneous pregnancy loss rates are high. To determine whether uterine dysfunction contributed to the adverse reproductive outcomes in PCOS, we assessed the effect of the increased ovarian androgens on a well characterized gene essential to endometrial receptivity. Upregulation of HOXA10 in the endometrium is necessary for receptivity to embryo implantation. In vitro, HOXA10 expression was repressed by testosterone but not by dehydro-epiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, or insulin. Testosterone also prevented the increased expression of HOXA10 previously reported with estradiol or progesterone. Dihydrotestosterone produced an effect similar to that of testosterone, whereas flutamide blocked the testosterone effect. Endometrial biopsies, obtained from women with PCOS, demonstrated decreased HOXA10 mRNA. Testosterone is a novel regulator of HOXA10. Diminished uterine HOXA10 expression may contribute to the diminished reproduction potential of women with PCOS.