Investigating the endometrial microenvironment via characterization of progenitor-like epithelial cells and fibroblastic response to trophectoderm secretions


Colt Crain

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2022



JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2022, The Jackson Laboratory


The endometrium is the site of blastocyst implantation and the source of nutritional support for the embryo. Through reproductive life, the endometrium goes through cyclic and dynamic processes of shedding, regeneration, and differentiation. This massive regenerative capacity of the uterus indicates the presence of an endometrium progenitor niche in the stroma. Endometriosis is an often-painful disorder in which endometrium-like tissues grow outside the uterus. The disease’s poorly understood pathology limits the capacity to provide early-diagnosis and effective treatment. In this project, I aim to determine the niche of the newly discovered progenitor-like epithelial cell (PLEC) subpopulation in the endometrium microenvironment and to investigate changes that occur in stromal endometrium after treatment with media from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived trophectoderm—a cell type responsible for placentation. Understanding these processes could contribute to a more holistic view of the endometrial microenvironment, which could lead to advancements in diagnostics and therapeutics.

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