Optimization of Endometrial Decidualization in the Menstruating Mouse Model for Preclinical Endometriosis Research

Daniëlle P. Peterse, Katrien De Clercq, Chloë Goossens, M. Mercedes Binda, O. F. Dorien, Philippa Saunders, Joris Vriens, Amelie Fassbender, Thomas M D'Hooghe

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BACKGROUND: To induce endometrial decidualization in rodents, an intrauterine oil stimulus can be delivered via the nontraumatic vagina or via the traumatic laparotomy. However, there is considerable variation in amount of decidualization using these inducing methods. Therefore, we studied which oil delivery route could achieve the highest rate of endometrial decidualization along the full length of both uterine horns.

METHODS: To induce decidualization, ovariectomized C57Bl/6J mice were injected with estrogen (100 ng/day; 3 days). A progesterone pellet (5 mg) was implanted subcutaneously, followed by estrogen injections (5 ng/day; 3 days). Oil (20 µL/horn) was injected in the uterus via laparotomy, laparoscopy, or vagina. Four days later, the pellet was removed, followed by hysterectomy after 4 to 6 hours. Endometrial decidualization was evaluated macroscopically and microscopically using hematoxylin and eosin and desmin staining. Furthermore, uterine weight and hormone levels were measured.

RESULTS: The proportion of animals with macroscopic bicornuate decidualization was higher after laparoscopic (83%) and laparotomic (89%) injection than after sham injection (11%). Furthermore, macroscopic bicornuate decidualization was significantly higher after laparotomic injection (89%) compared to the vaginal injection (38%). Uterine weight and endometrial surface area were significantly higher in both laparotomy and laparoscopy groups compared to the sham group, while the relative desmin-positive endometrial surface area was only significantly different between the laparotomy and the sham animals.

CONCLUSION: Methods using laparoscopic and laparotomic intrauterine oil injection resulted in a higher amount of decidualized endometrium compared to sham injection, although further optimization is needed to reach full bicornuate decidualization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933719118756744
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number11
Early online date18 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Journal Article


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