Localization and hormonal regulation of endometrial matrix metalloproteinase-26 in the rhesus macaque

C. C.D. Almeida-Francia, C. S. Keator, K. Mah, L. Holden, C. Hergert, O. D. Slayden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The current understanding of hormonal regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-26 (MMP-26) in the primate endometrium is incomplete. The goal of this work was to clarify estrogen and progesterone regulation of MMP-26 in the endometrium of ovariectomized, hormone-treated rhesus macaques. Methods Ovariectomized rhesus macaques (n 66) were treated with estradiol (E2), E2 plus progesterone, E2 followed by progesterone alone or no hormone. Endometrium was collected from the hormone-treated animals during the early, mid-and late proliferative and secretory phases of the artificial menstrual cycle. MMP-26 expression was quantified by real-time PCR, and MMP-26 transcript and protein were localized by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry and correlated with estrogen receptor 1 and progesterone receptor (PGR). Results MMP-26 was localized to glandular epithelium and was undetectable in the endometrial stroma and vasculature. MMP-26 transcript levels were minimal in the hormone-deprived macaques and treatment with E2 alone did not affect MMP-26 levels. Treatment with progesterone both in the presence and absence of E2 stimulated MMP-26 expression in the early and mid-secretory phases (P < 0.001). MMP-26 expression preceded decidualization of endometrial stroma. MMP-26 levels then declined to baseline in the late secretory phase (P < 0.01) despite continued E2 plus progesterone treatment. Loss of detectable MMP-26 expression in the late secretory phase was correlated with late secretory phase loss of glandular epithelial PGR. Conclusions Endometrial MMP-26 expression is dependent on the presence of progesterone in the early secretory phase and then gradually becomes refractory to progesterone stimulation in the late secretory phase. In the macaque, MMP-26 is a marker of the pre-decidual, secretory endometrium. During the second half of the late secretory phase, and during decidualization, MMP-26 loses its response to progesterone concurrent with the loss of epithelial PGR. The decline in MMP-26 levels between the mid-and late secretory phases may play a role in the receptive window for embryo implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1723-1734
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Endometrium
  • Estradiol
  • Matrix metalloproteinase-26
  • Progesterone
  • Rhesus macaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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