A cellular model to study the link between inner nuclear membrane architecture and fertility

A cellular model to study the link between inner nuclear membrane architecture and fertility

The nucleus is the brain centre of the cell and it is compartmentalised by a physical barrier called the nuclear envelope. The latter consists of an outer nuclear membrane, contiguous with the endoplasmic reticulum and an inner nuclear membrane, which protrudes at several points inside the nucleus to form structures called nucleoplasmic reticulum. Studies have shown that altered nucleoplasmic reticulum is often associated with disease states but also occurs in cells under physiological conditions.

In human endometrial cells, during a specific time frame of the menstrual cycle, structures highly similar to nucleoplasmic reticulum called the nucleolar channel system, are observed. These structures are sensitive to hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen and their absence in endometrial cells has been linked to infertility.

Pytowski and colleagues from the Vaux lab have now established an endometrial cellular model to study the hormones-induced formation of nucleoplasmic reticulum. They found that, similar to what was previously observed under pathological conditions, normal physiological manifestation of these structures also require newly synthesised membrane phospholipids and nascent lamina proteins, albeit independent of the cell cycle. The mechanism how hormones regulate nucleoplasmic reticulum formation in endometrial cells is still unclear, but this new cellular model will be a useful tool in further understanding this phenomenon, and potentially the link to fertility.

Iqbal Dulloo

Pytowski L, Drozdz MM, Jiang H, Hernandez Z, Kumar K, Knott E, Vaux DJ. (2019)

Int J Mol Sci. 20(23).pii: E5839.