Activin A increases invasiveness of endometrial cells in an in vitro model of human peritoneum

M. C. Ferreira, C. A. Witz, L. S. Hammes, N. Kirma, F. Petraglia, R. S. Schenken, F. M. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate whether activin A has an effect on the attachment and/or invasion of endometrial cells in a modeled peritoneum in vitro. Cultured endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) and endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) were treated with activin A (6.25-50 ng/ml) and with activin A (25 ng/ml) with and without inhibin A or follistatin. Fluorescent labeled cells were added to confluent peritoneal mesothelial cells (PMCs) and to a monolayer of confluent PMCs grown in a Matrigel™ invasion assay. The rate of endometrial cell attachment and invasion through PMCs was assessed. The expression of cell adhesion proteins N- and E-cadherin was evaluated with real-time RT-PCR. Activin A (25 ng/ml) promoted invasion of the endometrial cells through the modeled peritoneum (>2-fold versus control) and this effect was partially reversed by inhibin A and follistatin. Activin A had no effect on the rate of attachment of the endometrial cells to the PMCs or in the rate of proliferation. In addition, activin A induced a decreased mRNA expression of E-cadherin in cultured EECs. In conclusion, activin A increases invasion of EECs and ESCs into modeled peritoneum. In EECs, this effect may be related to down-regulation of E-cadherin expression. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the role of activin-A in the genesis of the endometriotic lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Activin A
  • Cadherins
  • Endometriosis
  • Follistatin
  • Inhibin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Cell Biology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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