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Superovulation with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) trigger and gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) trigger differentially alter essential angiogenic factors in the endometrium in a mouse ART model


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) are used as an alternative to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to trigger ovulation and decrease the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. GnRHa is less potent at inducing ovarian vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), but may also affect endometrial angiogenesis and early placental development. In this study, we explore the effect of superovulation on endometrial angiogenesis during critical periods of gestation in a mouse model. We assigned female mice to three groups: natural mating or mating following injection with equine chorionic gonadotropin and trigger with GnRHa or hCG trigger. Females were killed prior to implantation (E3.5), post-implantation (E7.5), and at midgestation (E10.5), and maternal serum, uterus, and ovaries were collected. During peri-implantation, endometrial Vegfr1 and Vegfr2 mRNA were significantly increased in the GnRHa trigger group (P < 0.02) relative to the hCG group. Vegfr1 is highly expressed in the endometrial lining and secretory glands immediately prior to implantation. At E7.5, the ectoplacental cone expression of Vegfa and its receptor, Vegfr2, was significantly higher in the hCG trigger group compared to the GnRHa group (P < 0.05). Soluble VEGFR1 and free VEGFA were much higher in the serum of mice exposed to the hCG trigger compared to GnRHa group. At midgestation, there was significantly more local Vegfa expression in the placenta of mice triggered with hCG. GnRHa and hCG triggers differentially disrupt the endometrial expression of key angiogenic factors during critical periods of mouse gestation. These results may have significant implications for placental development and neonatal outcomes following human in vitro fertilization.

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