The mammalian embryo relies on physical connections to its mother to survive. After implantation into the wall of the uterus and before the placenta is established, a structure known as the decidua forms and is key to supporting embryonic development. Defective formation of an effective decidua is thought to be a cause of female infertility.
A team of researchers, led by Toru Miyazaki, at the University of Tokyo, Japan, has now determined that the protein DEDD is required for the formation of a functional decidua in mice.
The authors therefore suggest that it would be interesting to investigate whether DEDD dysfunction is the cause of infertility in some women.
The research is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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