N5 endometrial stromal cell line: A model system to study decidual prolactin gene expression

A. K. Brar, Y. Kanda, C. A. Kessler, M. I. Cedars, S. Handwerger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Prolactin gene expression in extrapituitary tissues, such as decidua and lymphocytes, is regulated by a distinct promoter approximately 6 kb upstream of the pituitary prolactin gene transcription start site. Here we describe studies in a human endometrial stromal cell line, N5, that was immortalized by transfection with an SV40 mutant and which expresses the prolactin gene driven by the extrapituitary promoter. The N5 cells have phenotypic features of primary cultures of decidualized human endometrial stromal cells and secrete low levels of prolactin and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), both of which are markers of decidualized endometrial stromal cells. As in primary cultures of endometrial stromal cells, treatment of N5 cells with progesterone and estradiol alone or in combination with prostaglandin E2 stimulated the synthesis and release of prolactin. Transient transfection of the N5 cells with an expression vector containing - 2927/+66 bp of the decidual prolactin promoter coupled to a luciferase reporter gene resulted in a 20 to 25-fold increase in luciferase activity, a magnitude similar to that which occurs in primary cultures of endometrial stromal cells decidualized in vitro by treatment with progesterone and estradiol. Luciferase expression levels were similar in untreated N5 cells and N5 cells treated with progesterone and estradiol. Taken together, these results indicate that the N5 human endometrial stromal cell line has phenotypic characteristics of normal decidualized stromal cells and is a useful model to study regulation of decidual prolactin gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Cell line
  • Endometrium
  • Human
  • Prolactin


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