University of Oulu

Masuma Khatun, Riikka K Arffman, Darja Lavogina, Marika Kangasniemi, Johanna Laru, Anne Ahtikoski, Siri Lehtonen, Mariana Paulson, Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, Andres Salumets, Leif C Andersson, Terhi T Piltonen, Women with polycystic ovary syndrome present with altered endometrial expression of stanniocalcin-1, Biology of Reproduction, Volume 102, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 306–315,

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome present with altered endometrial expression of stanniocalcin-1

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Author: Khatun, Masuma1; Arffman, Riikka K.1; Lavogina, Darja2;
Organizations: 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tartu, Estonia
3Department of Pathology, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet and Department of Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Clinical Medicine and Department of Biomedicine, Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, University of Tartu, Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tartu, Estonia
6Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-11-29


Stanniocalcin-1 (STC-1) is a pro-survival factor that protects tissues against stressors, such as hypoxia and inflammation. STC-1 is co-expressed with the endometrial receptivity markers, and recently endometrial STC-1 was reported to be dysregulated in endometriosis, a condition linked with endometrial progesterone resistance and inflammation. These features are also common in the endometrium in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder in women. Given that women with PCOS present with subfertility, pregnancy complications, and increased risk for endometrial cancer, we investigated endometrial STC-1 expression in affected women. Endometrial biopsy samples were obtained from women with PCOS and controls, including samples from overweight/obese women with PCOS before and after a 3-month lifestyle intervention. A total of 98 PCOS and 85 control samples were used in immunohistochemistry, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, or in vitro cell culture. SCT-1 expression was analyzed at different cycle phases and in endometrial stromal cells (eSCs) after steroid hormone exposure. The eSCs were also challenged with 8-Br-cAMP and hypoxia for STC-1 expression. The findings indicate that STC-1 expression is not steroid hormone mediated, although secretory-phase STC-1 expression was blunted in PCOS. Lower expression seems to be related to attenuated STC-1 response to stressors in PCOS eSCs, shown as downregulation of protein kinase A activity. The 3-month lifestyle intervention did not restore STC-1 expression in PCOS endometrium. More studies are warranted to further elucidate the mechanisms behind the altered endometrial STC-1 expression and rescue mechanism in the PCOS endometrium.

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Series: Biology of reproduction
ISSN: 0006-3363
ISSN-E: 1529-7268
ISSN-L: 0006-3363
Volume: 102
Issue: 2
Pages: 306 - 315
DOI: 10.1093/biolre/ioz180
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact