CD44 variant 6 is involved in the attachment and invasion of endometrial cells to peritoneum

Reproductive Diseases

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2, P188-194, NOVEMBER 01, 2020


Jennifer F. Knudtson, M.D., Jessica E. McLaughlin, M.D., Mubeen Sultana, B.S., Marlen Tellez Santos, B.S., M.S., M.A. Sureshkumar, Ph.D., Rajeshwar R. Tekmal, Ph.D., Robert S. Schenken, M.D.



To study the effects of CD44 standard (CD44s), CD44v3, and CD44v6 overexpression (OE) on immortalized human endometrial epithelial (iEECs) and stroma cells (human endometrial stromal cells [hESCs]) using in vitro assays and a nude mouse xenograft model. Menstrual endometrial cells from women with endometriosis have increased adhesion and also express higher levels of CD44 variant 6 (v6), but not v3, compared to menstrual endometrial cells from women without endometriosis.


In vitro studies and in vivo xenograft model.


Academic center.


Deidentified immortalized endometrial epithelial tissue samples of a reproductive-age woman.


Overexpression of CD44s, CD44v3, and CD44v6 was carried out using lipofectamine, and their expression was verified with mRNA and protein in iEEC and hESCs. The OE cells were used in in vitro studies and an in vivo xenograft model compared to plasmid control.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

The effect of CD44s, CD44v3, and CD44v6 OE on attachment and invasion assays and a xenograft model with immortalized human stromal and epithelial cells.


Expression of mRNA and protein confirmed appropriate OE of CD44s, CD44v3, and CD44v6 in the different cell types. CD44v6 OE increased attachment of hESCs compared with controls. CD44v6 OE did not change the attachment of iEECs. There was no difference in attachment in iEECs or hESCs with OE of CD44s or CD44v3.


Overexpression of CD44v6 increases attachment of hESCs to peritoneal mesothelial cells in an in vitro assay and an in vivo xenograft model. Menstrual endometrial cell type and CD44 variants play a complex role in the development of the early endometriotic lesion.

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