MicroRNAs are associated with human embryo implantation defects

Ariel Revel, Hanna Achache*, Juliet Stevens, Yoav Smith, Reuven Reich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Repeated implantation failure (RIF) is a major problem encountered in IVF. We have previously reported that RIF-IVF patients have a different endometrial gene expression profile during the window of implantation. Considering microRNA (miRNA) function in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, the aim of the study was to evaluate the involvement of miRNA in defects of endometrial receptivity. Methods We used TaqMan miRNA array cards to identify the miRNAs differentially expressed in the secretory endometrium of RIF-IVF patients when compared with fertile women, and bioinformatics tools to identify their predicted targets and the molecular networks they may affect. Results Comparing miRNA expression profiles, we identified 13 miRNAs, differentially expressed in RIF endometrial samples, that putatively regulate the expression of 3800 genes. We found that 10 miRNAs were overexpressed (including miR 145, 23b and 99a) and 3 were underexpressed. Using our previous gene expression analysis, we paralleled miRNAmRNA expression profiling. By this means, we identified novel and previously characterized miRNA-regulated molecular pathways such as adherens junctions, cell adhesion molecules, Wnt-signaling, p53 signaling and cell cycle pathways. Consistent with the miRNA-predicted targets, mRNA levels of N-cadherin, H2AFX, netrin-4 and secreted frizzled-related protein-4, belonging to the cell adhesion molecules, Wnt signaling and cell cycle pathways were lower in RIF-IVF patients. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the differential expression of miRNAs in the secretory endometrium of RIF-IVF patients. We suggest that the RIF-associated miRNAs could be exploited as new candidates for diagnosis and treatment of embryo implantation failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2830-2840
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Implantation
  • endometrial receptivity
  • female infertility
  • gene expression profiling
  • microRNAs


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