The Plasminogen Activator System, Glucocorticoid, and Mineralocorticoid Receptors in the Primate Endometrium During Artificial Menstrual Cycles

Esra Demirel, Reem Sabouni, Neelima Chandra, Ov D. Slayden, David F. Archer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    As a key mechanism in fibrinolysis and tissue remodeling, the plasminogen activator system has been suggested in the process of endometrial shedding and tissue remodeling. Previous studies have explored the role of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors as well as elements of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system in shaping the morphology of the endometrium. This study investigates the distribution and concentrations of the mineralocorticoid receptor, glucocorticoid receptor, tissue plasminogen activator, urokinase plasminogen activator, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 within the endometrial stroma, glandular, and endothelial cells of the primate endometrium during artificial menstrual cycles. Our immunohistochemistry quantification shows mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors are ubiquitously distributed within the macaque endometrium with their patterns of expression following similar fluctuations to urokinase and tissue plasminogen activators particularly within the endometrial vasculature. These proteins are present in endometrial vasculature in high levels during the proliferative phase, decreasing levels during the secretory phase followed by rising levels in the menstrual phase. These similarities could suggest overlapping pathways and interactions between the plasminogen activator system and the steroid receptors within the endometrium. Given the anti-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids and the role of plasminogen activators in endometrial breakdown, the glucocorticoid receptor may be contributing to stabilizing the endometrium by regulating plasminogen activators during the proliferative phase and menstruation. Furthermore, given the anti-mineralocorticoid properties of certain anti-androgenic progestins and their reduced unscheduled uterine bleeding patterns, the mineralocorticoid receptor may be involved in unscheduled endometrial bleeding.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1001-1019
    Number of pages19
    JournalReproductive Sciences
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2022


    • Glucocorticoid receptor
    • Mineralocorticoid receptor
    • Plasminogen activator inhibitor
    • Plasminogen activator system
    • Tissue plasminogen activator
    • Urokinase plasminogen activator

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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