Evaluation of vascular endothelial growth factor A and leukemia inhibitory factor expressions at the time of implantation in diabetic rats following treatment with Metformin and Pioglitazone


Background: Implantation requires intimate crosstalk between the embryo and uterus for a successful establishment of pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may lead to implantation failure. The effect of diabetes and its therapeutic drugs on implantation is still largely unclear.

Objective: To assess the endometrial expression changes of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), at the time of implantation in diabetic rats following treatment with Metformin and Pioglitazone.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight 6-8-wk-old Wistar female rats weighing 200- 250 gr were divided into four groups (n = 7/each). Type 2 diabetes was induced and Metformin and Pioglitazone were applied for 4 wk. The expression of VEGFA and LIF was measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot.

Results: The relative expression of VEGFA transcript was higher in the diabetic (p = 0.02) and Metformin-treated (p = 0.04) rats compared to the control group. Furthermore, the VEGFA transcript level significantly reduced in Pioglitazone-treated diabetic rats (p = 0.03). LIF expression was elevated in the Metformin- and the Pioglitazone-treated rats and reduced in the diabetic group in comparison with the control group. Compared to the diabetic rats, the expression of LIF was significantly elevated in the Metformin- (p = 0.01) and Pioglitazone-treated (p = 0.03) groups.

Conclusion: The expressions of LIF and VEGFA were altered in diabetic rats during implantation which may be associated with diabetic-related infertility. Pioglitazone is able to restore the VEGFA and LIF expressions to their baseline levels more efficiently than Metformin.

Key words: Embryo implantation, Leukemia inhibitory factor, Vascular endothelial growth factor A, Metformin, Pioglitazone, Rats.

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