Purpose: To determine whether there is any association between the expression of endometrial integrin αvβ3 and repeated IVF-ET failure and to examine the effect of danazol treatment on αvβ3 expression. Methods: This prospective study was performed using a semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis on the staining intensity of αvβ3 in the mid-secretory endometria derived from 10 fertile women and 57 infertile patients with a history of repeated IVF-ET failures. Nine patients randomly selected from these 22 patients with unexplained infertility were then treated with oral danazol administration for 12 weeks and reexamined at the first mid-secretory phase after the danazol treatment. Result(s): The levels of endometrial αvβ3 expression were lower in 22 patients with unexplained infertility than in the fertile control and 35 patients with explained infertility. The 9 patients treated with danazol showed a significant increase in the αvβ3 staining. Conclusion(s): The significantly decreased expression of endometrial integrin αvβ3 suggested that functional, but not morphological, endometrial defect may be one of the causes for the patients with unexplained infertility. Danazol may have a therapeutic potential in improving endometrial function together with up-regulation of αvβ3.
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