Background: Estrogens regulate disparate female physiological processes, thus ensuring reproduction. Altered estrogen levels and signaling have been associated with increased risks of pregnancy failure and complications, including hypertensive disorders and low birthweight babies. However, the role of estrogens in the periconceptional period and early pregnancy is still understudied. Objective and rationale: This review aims to summarize the current evidence on the role of maternal estrogens during the periconceptional period and the first trimester of pregnancies conceived naturally and following ART. Detailed molecular mechanisms and related clinical impacts are extensively described. Search methods: Data for this narrative review were independently identified by seven researchers on Pubmed and Embase databases. The following keywords were selected: 'estrogens' OR 'estrogen level(s)' OR 'serum estradiol' OR 'estradiol/estrogen concentration', AND 'early pregnancy' OR 'first trimester of pregnancy' OR 'preconceptional period' OR 'ART' OR 'In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)' OR 'Embryo Transfer' OR 'Frozen Embryo Transfer' OR 'oocyte donation' OR 'egg donation' OR 'miscarriage' OR 'pregnancy outcome' OR 'endometrium'. Outcomes: During the periconceptional period (defined here as the critical time window starting 1 month before conception), estrogens play a crucial role in endometrial receptivity, through the activation of paracrine/autocrine signaling. A derailed estrogenic milieu within this period seems to be detrimental both in natural and ART-conceived pregnancies. Low estrogen levels are associated with non-conception cycles in natural pregnancies. On the other hand, excessive supraphysiologic estrogen concentrations at time of the LH peak correlate with lower live birth rates and higher risks of pregnancy complications. In early pregnancy, estrogen plays a massive role in placentation mainly by modulating angiogenic factor expression-and in the development of an immune-tolerant uterine micro-environment by remodeling the function of uterine natural killer and T-helper cells. Lower estrogen levels are thought to trigger abnormal placentation in naturally conceived pregnancies, whereas an estrogen excess seems to worsen pregnancy development and outcomes. Wider implications: Most current evidence available endorses a relation between periconceptional and first trimester estrogen levels and pregnancy outcomes, further depicting an optimal concentration range to optimize pregnancy success. However, how estrogens co-operate with other factors in order to maintain a fine balance between local tolerance towards the developing fetus and immune responses to pathogens remains elusive. Further studies are highly warranted, also aiming to identify the determinants of estrogen response and biomarkers for personalized estrogen administration regimens in ART.

The pathophysiological role of estrogens in the initial stages of pregnancy: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications for pregnancy outcome from the periconceptional period to end of the first trimester / F. Parisi, C. Fenizia, A. Introini, A. Zavatta, C. Scaccabarozzi, M. Biasin, V. Savasi. - In: HUMAN REPRODUCTION UPDATE. - ISSN 1355-4786. - (2023), pp. 1-22. [Epub ahead of print] [10.1093/humupd/dmad016]

The pathophysiological role of estrogens in the initial stages of pregnancy: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications for pregnancy outcome from the periconceptional period to end of the first trimester

F. Parisi
Co-primo
;
C. Fenizia
Co-primo
;
A. Introini;A. Zavatta;C. Scaccabarozzi;M. Biasin
Penultimo
;
V. Savasi
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Background: Estrogens regulate disparate female physiological processes, thus ensuring reproduction. Altered estrogen levels and signaling have been associated with increased risks of pregnancy failure and complications, including hypertensive disorders and low birthweight babies. However, the role of estrogens in the periconceptional period and early pregnancy is still understudied. Objective and rationale: This review aims to summarize the current evidence on the role of maternal estrogens during the periconceptional period and the first trimester of pregnancies conceived naturally and following ART. Detailed molecular mechanisms and related clinical impacts are extensively described. Search methods: Data for this narrative review were independently identified by seven researchers on Pubmed and Embase databases. The following keywords were selected: 'estrogens' OR 'estrogen level(s)' OR 'serum estradiol' OR 'estradiol/estrogen concentration', AND 'early pregnancy' OR 'first trimester of pregnancy' OR 'preconceptional period' OR 'ART' OR 'In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)' OR 'Embryo Transfer' OR 'Frozen Embryo Transfer' OR 'oocyte donation' OR 'egg donation' OR 'miscarriage' OR 'pregnancy outcome' OR 'endometrium'. Outcomes: During the periconceptional period (defined here as the critical time window starting 1 month before conception), estrogens play a crucial role in endometrial receptivity, through the activation of paracrine/autocrine signaling. A derailed estrogenic milieu within this period seems to be detrimental both in natural and ART-conceived pregnancies. Low estrogen levels are associated with non-conception cycles in natural pregnancies. On the other hand, excessive supraphysiologic estrogen concentrations at time of the LH peak correlate with lower live birth rates and higher risks of pregnancy complications. In early pregnancy, estrogen plays a massive role in placentation mainly by modulating angiogenic factor expression-and in the development of an immune-tolerant uterine micro-environment by remodeling the function of uterine natural killer and T-helper cells. Lower estrogen levels are thought to trigger abnormal placentation in naturally conceived pregnancies, whereas an estrogen excess seems to worsen pregnancy development and outcomes. Wider implications: Most current evidence available endorses a relation between periconceptional and first trimester estrogen levels and pregnancy outcomes, further depicting an optimal concentration range to optimize pregnancy success. However, how estrogens co-operate with other factors in order to maintain a fine balance between local tolerance towards the developing fetus and immune responses to pathogens remains elusive. Further studies are highly warranted, also aiming to identify the determinants of estrogen response and biomarkers for personalized estrogen administration regimens in ART.
ART; endometrial receptivity; estrogens; implantation; infertility; inflammation; pregnancy; steroid hormones;
Settore BIO/13 - Biologia Applicata
Settore MED/04 - Patologia Generale
Settore MED/40 - Ginecologia e Ostetricia
2023
23-giu-2023
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Estrogen.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 1.42 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.42 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/980111
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus 7
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact