Derivation and long-term expansion of human endometrial and decidual organoids

22 Aug 2017

This protocol describes the derivation and long-term culture of self-organising, 3D epithelial organoids from human uterine tissues. Organoids which recapitulate features of uterine glands in vivo can be derived from both non-pregnant endometrium and from the decidua of early pregnancy using the method described. The organoids are able to respond to hormonal signals, secrete components of uterine ‘milk’ and can also differentiate into ciliated luminal epithelial cells. Since implantation in vivo occurs onto the uterine ciliated luminal epithelium and since uterine glands are the major source of histotrophic nutrition for the developing human conceptus the organoids will allow studies of early implantation in vitro. In addition they provide a useful tool to study the role of uterine stem cells in cyclical endometrial breakdown, repair, hyperplasia, carcinoma and endometriosis. Organoids can be consistently established within one to two weeks of initiation of culture and can be expanded long term, cryopreserved and resurrected.