The Journal of biological chemistry

Warburg-like Glycolysis and Lactate Shuttle in Mouse Decidua during Early Pregnancy.

PMID 26178372


Decidualization is an essential process of maternal endometrial stromal cells to support pregnancy. Although it is known that enhanced glucose influx is critical for decidualization, the underlying mechanism in regulating glucose metabolism in decidua remains insufficiently understood. Here, we demonstrate that aerobic glycolysis-related genes and factors are all substantially induced during decidualization, indicating the existence of Warburg-like glycolysis in decidua. In vitro, progesterone activates hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (Hif1α) and c-Myc through Pi3k-Akt signaling pathway to maintain aerobic glycolysis in decidualizing cells. Knocking down of pyruvate kinase M2 (Pkm2) attenuates the induction of decidual marker gene. Decidual formation in vivo is also impaired by glycolysis inhibitor 3-bromopyruvate. Besides, lactate exporter monocarboxylate transporter 4 (Mct4) is induced in newly formed decidual cells, whereas lactate importer Mct1 and proliferation marker Ki-67 are complementarily located in the surrounding undifferentiated cells, which are supposed to consume lactate for proliferation. Hif1α activation is required for lactate-dependent proliferation of the undifferentiated cells. Inhibition of lactate flux leads to compromised decidualization and decelerated lactate-dependent proliferation. In summary, we reveal that Warburg-like glycolysis and local lactate shuttle are activated in decidua and play important roles for supporting early pregnancy.

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