Impact of growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist on decidual stromal cell growth and apoptosis in vitro†

Hsien Ming Wu, Liang Hsuan Chen, Andrew V. Schally, Hong Yuan Huang, Yung Kuei Soong, Peter C.K. Leung, Hsin Shih Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endometrial stromal cells remodeling is critical during human pregnancy. Growth hormone-releasing hormone and its functional receptor have been shown to be expressed in gynecological cancer cells and eutopic endometrial stromal cells. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential clinical uses of antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone as effective antitumor agents because of its directly antagonistic effect on the locally produced growth hormone-releasing hormone in gynecological tumors. However, the impact of growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonists on normal endometrial stromal cell growth remained to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist (JMR-132) on cell proliferation and apoptosis of human decidual stromal cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our results showed that growth hormone-releasing hormone and the splice variant 1 of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor are expressed in human decidual stromal cells isolated from the decidual tissues of early pregnant women receiving surgical abortion. In addition, treatment of stroma cells with JMR-132 induced cell apoptosis with increasing cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities and decrease cell viability in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Using a dual inhibition approach (pharmacological inhibitors and siRNA-mediated knockdown), we showed that JMR-132-induced activation of apoptotic signals are mediated by the activation of ERK1/2 and JNK signaling pathways and the subsequent upregulation of GADD45alpha. Taken together, JMR-132 suppresses cell survival of decidual stromal cells by inducing apoptosis through the activation of ERK1/2- and JNK-mediated upregulation of GADD45alpha in human endometrial stromal cells. Our findings provide new insights into the potential impact of growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist on the decidual programming in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2022


  • ERK1/2
  • GADD45α
  • GHRH antagonist
  • JNK
  • apoptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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