The interleukin-11 (IL-11) receptor alpha has an important function in decidualization of mouse endometrial stroma but the function of IL-11 and its receptor in the human endometrium remains unknown. The mRNA for IL-11 and its receptor alpha in human endometrial tissue samples were analysed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and RNase protection assays respectively. The proteins were detected in frozen endometrial tissue samples by immunofluorescence. The effect of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF) on secretion of IL-11 by cultured endometrial stromal cells was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The proliferative potential of IL-11 in endometrial stromal cells was assessed by [(3)H]thymidine uptake. IL-11 and its receptor alpha mRNAs and proteins were detected in the endometrium throughout the cycle. Distinct patterns of localization of the ligand and receptor were observed. HB-EGF induced IL-11 secretion by cultured stromal cells, and IL-11 induced [(3)H]thymidine uptake by these cells. Our data suggest that IL-11-receptor interactions may perform different functions in the human endometrium at different stages of the cycle, and that secretion of IL-11 is modulated by local growth factors.
- heparin-binding epidermal growth factor
- interleukin-11 receptor alpha