Generation of Multicellular Human Primary Endometrial Organoids

* These authors contributed equally
This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

The human endometrium is one of the most hormonally responsive tissues in the body and is essential for the establishment of pregnancy. This tissue can also become diseased and cause morbidity and even death. Model systems to study human endometrial biology have been limited to in vitro culture systems of single cell types. In addition, the epithelial cells, one of the major cell types of the endometrium, do not propagate well or retain their physiological traits in culture, and thus our understanding of endometrial biology remains limited. We have generated, for the first time, endometrial organoids that consist of both epithelial and stromal cells of the human endometrium. These organoids do not require any exogenous scaffold materials and specifically organize so that epithelial cells encompass the spheroid-like structure and become polarized with stromal cells in the center that produce and secrete collagen. Estrogen, progesterone and androgen receptors are expressed in the epithelial and stromal cells and treatment with physiological levels of estrogen and testosterone promote the organization of the organoids. This new model system can be used to study normal endometrial biology and disease in ways that were not possible before.