Leukemia Inhibitory Factor: An Important Regulator of Endometrial Function


Address reprint requests to Justyna Sikora, Chair and Department of Immunology and Serology, Silesian Medical Academy, Raciborska 15, 40-074 Katowice, Poland.
E-mail: sikoraj@poczta.onet.pl


Problem:  Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is multifunctional cytokine that displays biological activities in different cells, including endometrial cells. The aim of this study is to describe implications of LIF on a physiological function of endometrium.

Method of study:  The role of LIF in the endometrial function is reviewed and summarized from the available literature.

Results:  LIF plays an important role in a physiological function of endometrium. In human endometrial LIF expression depends on cellular localizations, steroid hormones, menstrual stages and a local cytokine network. Stronger LIF expression exists in an endometrial epithelium during a luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which coincides with the time of an implantation. The impairments of the endometrial LIF expression may play a significant role in the pathological processes involving implantation and the infertility.

Conclusions:  There is a substantial evidence that LIF is a potential regulator of the endometrial function and might be one of the factors that play a key role in human reproduction.