Glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in human decidua: a novel role for

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • JCY Chan
  • BA Innes
  • JN Bulmer
  • M Hewison

Colleges, School and Institutes


Glucocorticoids play a fundamental role in the endocrinology of pregnancy but excess glucocorticoids in utero may lead to abnormalities of fetal growth. Protection against fetal exposure to cortisol is provided by the enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11 beta-HSD2) located in the human placental trophoblast. By contrast, relatively little is known concerning the function of glucocorticoid-activating 11 beta-HSD1, which is strongly expressed within human maternal decidua. To address this we have assessed: i) changes in decidual 11 beta-HSD1 expression across gestation and ii) the functional role of glucocorticoids in decidua. Human decidua was collected from women undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy in first (n=32) and second (n=10) trimesters, and elective caesarean sections in the third trimester (n=9). Analysis of mRNA for 11 beta-HSD1 by real-time RT-PCR, showed increased expression in second (9.3-fold, P


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007