Low-dose mifepristone increased angiogenesis in a manner involving AQP1

  • Feng Zhou
  • Zhida Qian
  • Lili HuangEmail author
Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine



To investigate the molecular mechanisms governing aquaporin-1 (AQP1)-mediated, mifepristone-induced angiogenesis and improve the understanding of low-dose mifepristone serving as an anti-implantation contraceptive drug.


Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were used to explore the effects of different concentrations of mifepristone (0, 65, and 200 nmol/L) on the activity of angiogenesis. Forty-five pregnant mice during the “window of implantation” were treated with different concentrations of mifepristone. HUVECs’ proliferation was examined using a methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay. The microvessel density (MVD) and the expression of AQP1 in endometrium were determined with immunohistochemical methods.


The MVD and the expression of AQP1 were significantly higher than controls. Mifepristone at 200 nmol/L significantly affected HUVECs’ proliferation during culture over 12 h, and pretreatment with AQP1-specific siRNA significantly inhibited the mifepristone-enhanced cell proliferation.


Low-dose mifepristone increased angiogenesis in a manner involving AQP1. This affords a new insight into the molecular mechanism underpinning the angiogenic effects of low-dose mifepristone.


Mifepristone Endometrium Implantation window Angiogenesis AQP1 


Author contributions

All authors made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; ZF and QZ involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content; HL gave final approval to the version to be published. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by the program for National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81701502).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The procedures of this study were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China) and were in accordance with the university’s guidelines for animal research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Women’s Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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