Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Dysregulated expression of microRNAs is associated with human embryo implantation defects. Our preliminary data suggested that embryo-derived human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulates the expression of miR-125a-3p, which downregulates CTNNBIP1 and activates the Wnt-signaling pathway through b-catenin expression in endometrial epithelial cells for embryo implantation. Importantly, endometrial biopsies taken from recurrent implantation failure (RIF) or non-RIF patients showed differential expressions of miR-125a-3p, and staining of CTNNBIP1 and b-catenin proteins, suggesting their potential diagnostic value for pregnancy outcome prediction.
We hypothesize that the receptivity of endometrial epithelial cells is regulated by embryo-derived hCG-induced miR-125a-3p, which in turn modulates Wnt-signaling molecules important for embryo implantation. We further hypothesize that miR-125a-3p, CTNNBIP1, and b-catenin levels can predict embryo implantation in RIF and in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. In this study, we aim to study the regulation of miR-125a-3p, CTNNBIP1, and b-catenin in endometrial cells and investigate their roles in endometrial receptivity and spheroid attachment. Results from the immunohistochemical staining and miRNA expression will be correlated to pregnancy outcomes between RIF and non-RIF samples. Results from this study should allow us to understand the role of hCG on miRNA-mediated signaling pathways and hence on endometrial receptivity, and open a new area to explore the use of miRNA and Wnt-signaling molecules to predict pregnancy outcomes in IVF and RIF patients.
Dr CKF Lee, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr. Lee got his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and trained in postdoctoral training at Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA. He joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Hong Kong as a Research Assistant Professor in 1998 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. He was Past-President of the Hong Kong Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the Hong Kong Society of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Reproduction. He has published more than 90 original articles in international journals with an H index of 32 (total citation >3000). His students have obtained many international and local awards including ‘The Best Poster Award of Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) – Southeast Asia Region’.
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