Embryo implantation into the maternal endometrium is critical for initiation and establishment of pregnancy, requiring developmental synchrony between endometrium and the blastocyst. However, factors that govern human endometrial-embryo crosstalk and facilitate implantation remain largely unknown. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are emerging as important mediators of this process.
This research investigates how EV cargo can functionally regulate early-stage pregnancy of the embryo and endometrium. We utilise human embryonic stem-cell derived models which are differentiated into the cells representing the outer layer of human embryo (i.e., embryo mimetic). This project focuses on the importance of defining the precise contribution of endometrial and embryo-mimetic-derived EVs within the uterine cavity. The outcomes of this research will establish how exosomes and their cargo regulate the extracellular uterine environment and elucidate cellular and molecular events associated with implantation and receptivity.
This work will have significant implications in understanding EV biology, composition of distinct subtypes of EVs, namely exosomes and microvesicles, and the mechanisms how these EVs can functionally reprogram this environment towards implantation, and promotion of healthy pregnancy.