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Professor Lois A Salamonsen
Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research
Monash University
PO Box 5152, Clayton, Victoria 3168
Email: lois.salamonsen@phimr.monash.edu.au
Tel: +61-3-9594 4373
Fax: +61-3-9594 6125
Homepage: http://www.med.monash.edu.au/phimr/Uterinebiol.html

The endometrium (the mucosal lining of the uterus) undergoes extensive remodeling during each reproductive cycle, that is unprecedented in any other adult tissue. In women, most of the tissue is shed at menstruation. The tissue repairs rapidly without scarring, and subsequent proliferation and differentiation prepares it for implantation of an embryo, which is a process during which massive remodeling and differentiation occur. Our interest is in the proteases involved in these processes and their role in abnormal uterine bleeding and in infertility. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are dramatically upregulated prior to and during menstruation and during implantation, and active forms have been demonstrated. Leukocytes are also key players in the remodeling, and enzymes such as tryptase and elastase are likely important for focal activation of the MMPs. A number of chemokines are highly expressed, particularly in epithelium and around blood vessels prior to menstruation, and processing of these by MMPs is proposed. We have developed a mouse model of menstruation (since this process occurs only in some primates) and this is allowing functional studies using inhibitors and genetically modified mice, to determine the importance of the proteases. We have also shown that proprotein convertase 5/6 is a critical enzyme for implantation and for the stromal differentiation that leads to placental formation.
Depts of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University
Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sydney University and Sydney Centre for Reproductive Health Research
University of Western Australia, School of Women's and Childrens Health
Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood
University of Cambridge, Dept of Pathology, UK
Okada H, Nie G, Salamonsen LA (2005) Requirement for proprotein convertase 5/6 during decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells in vitro. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 90: 1028-1034.

Nie G, Li Y, Wang M, Liu YX, Findlay JK, Salamonsen LA (2005) Inhibiting uterine proprotein convertase 6 blocks embryo implantation: an obligatory role for a proprotein convertase in fertility. Biol. Reprod. 72: 1029-1036.

Salamonsen LA, Dimitriadis E, Jones R and Nie G-Y (2003) Complex regulation of decidualization: a role for cytokines and proteases. Placenta, 24, Supplement A, Trophoblast Research 17, S76-S85.

Salamonsen LA (2003) Tissue injury and repair in the reproductive tract. Reproduction 125: 301-311.

Di Nezza L, Jobling T and Salamonsen LA. (2003) Progestin suppresses matrix metalloproteinase production in endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 89, 325-333.

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