Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Influence of hyaluronan on endometrial receptivity and embryo attachment in sheep

Marei, W F A; Wathes, D C; Raheem, K A; Mohey-Elsaeed, O; Ghafari, F; Fouladi-Nashta, A A


W F A Marei

D C Wathes

K A Raheem

O Mohey-Elsaeed

F Ghafari

A A Fouladi-Nashta


An increasing number of reports suggests a role of hyaluronan (HA) in female reproduction and interest in its application in assisted reproduction is rising. However, there are contrasting data about the effectiveness of adding HA to the embryo-transfer medium on improving pregnancy rates. Using sheep as an experimental model, the studies reported here analysed the impact of HA infusion into the uterus on embryo attachment to uterine luminal epithelium (LE) and expression of selected markers of uterine receptivity. On Day 14 after natural mating (pre-attachment), uterine horns were infused with either (n = 4 each): PBS (control), HA (1 mg mL–1), HA + hyaluronidase 2 (Hyal2; 300 IU mL–1) or 4-methyl-umbelliferone (HA-synthesis inhibitor; 4MU, 1 mM). HA immunostaining on uterine sections collected on Day 17 was negative in the 4MU group and weak in the HA+Hyal2 group. In contrast to 4MU, which resulted in 100% attachment, HA infusion blocked embryo attachment in all treated animals. This was accompanied by the disappearance of mucin 1 and increased expression of osteopontin and CD44v6 in the LE of uteri with attached embryos. In conclusion, the presence of HA at the embryo–maternal interface during embryo implantation resulted in reduced endometrial receptivity and inhibited the interaction of trophoblasts with the LE, whereas clearance of HA favoured embryo attachment.


Marei, W. F. A., Wathes, D. C., Raheem, K. A., Mohey-Elsaeed, O., Ghafari, F., & Fouladi-Nashta, A. A. (2017). Influence of hyaluronan on endometrial receptivity and embryo attachment in sheep.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 12, 2016
Publication Date Sep 29, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 19, 2016
Journal Reproduction Fertility and Development
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 9
Pages 1763-1773
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations