Wnt/β-catenin signalling plays a rate-limiting role in early development of many different organs in a broad spectrum of organisms. In the developing Müllerian duct, Wnt/β-catenin signalling is important for initiation, outgrowth, patterning and differentiation into vagina, cervix, uterus and oviducts. In adult life, sex hormones modulate Wnt/β-catenin signalling in the endometrium to maintain the monthly balance between estrogen-induced proliferation and progesterone-induced differentiation, and enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signalling seems to be involved in endometrial carcinogenesis. However, early in pregnancy enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signalling is prerequisite for proper implantation and invasion of trophoblast cells into endometrium and myometrium thus helping to form a placenta. Overall, it seems that tight control of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in time and space is important for initiation, development and normal function of the female reproductive tract. However, if Wnt/β-catenin signalling is not kept in check, it easily seems to initiate or contribute to development of a number of uterine disorders.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2011.06.010, hdl.handle.net/1765/26655
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Horst, P.H, Wang, Y, van der Zee, M, Burger, C.W, & Blok, L.J. (2012). Interaction between sexhormones and WNT/β-catenin signal transduction in endometrial physiology and disease. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (Vol. 358, pp. 176–184). doi:10.1016/j.mce.2011.06.010