Expression of glucocorticoid and androgen receptors in bone marrow–derived hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic murine endometrial cells

Kavitha Persaud, Qingshi Zhao, Amma Owusu-Akyaw, Pranela Rameshwar, Laura T. Goldsmith, Sara S. Morelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether bone marrow (BM)–derived cells engrafting the murine endometrium express the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and androgen receptor (AR). Recent data demonstrate that BM is a long-term source of multiple hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic endometrial cell types. Important roles for glucocorticoids and androgens in regulating endometrial functions, including decidualization and early embryo attachment/invasion, have very recently emerged. Whether endometrial cells of BM origin express glucocorticoid or ARs has not been previously studied. Design: Animal study. Setting: Basic science laboratory. Animal(s): Wild-type C57BL/6J male mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) and syngeneic wild-type C57BL/6J female mice aged 6–9 weeks. Intervention(s): Murine bone marrow transplant. Main Outcome Measure(s): Bone marrow cells were harvested from adult wild-type C57BL/6 mice and subjected to flow cytometry to identify the percentage of hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells expressing GR or AR. Uterine tissue sections from lethally irradiated syngeneic adult female C57BL/6 mice that had been recipients of BM transplants from adult male transgenic donor mice ubiquitously expressing GFP were studied. Immunohistochemistry was performed in the uterine tissue sections of the recipient mice at 5, 9, and 12 months after transplant using specific anti-GR, anti-AR, anti-GFP, anti-CD45 (pan leukocyte marker), and anti-F4/80 (murine macrophage marker) primary antibodies. Confocal laser microscopy was used to localize and quantitate BM-derived (GFP+) cell types in the endometrial stromal and epithelial compartments and determine whether BM-derived cell types in the murine endometrium express GR or AR. Result(s): Hematopoietic cells comprised 93.6%–96.6% of all cells in the BM, of which 98.1% ± 0.2% expressed GR and 92.2% ± 4.4% expressed AR. Nonhematopoietic cells comprised 0.4%–1.3% of BM, of which 52.8% ± 5.9% expressed GR and 48.9% ± 3.4% expressed AR. After BM transplant, the proportion of cells originating from BM in the endometrial stromal compartment increased over time, reaching 13.5% ± 2.3% at 12 months after transplant. In the epithelial compartments, <1% of the cells were of BM origin at 12 months after transplant. Most (60%–72%) GR+ and/or AR+ BM-derived cells in the stroma were hematopoietic (CD45+) cells, of which 37%–51% were macrophages. Nonetheless, 28%–33% of GR+ cells, and 28%–40% of AR+ BM-derived cells, were nonhematopoietic (CD45) stromal cells of BM origin. Conclusion(s): A substantial number of BM-derived cells express GR and AR, suggesting a role for these cells in both glucocorticoid-regulated and androgen-regulated endometrial functions, such as proliferation and/or decidualization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalF and S Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology


  • Bone marrow–derived endometrial cells
  • androgen receptors
  • glucocorticoid receptors


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