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The transcriptional repressor Blimp1 controls cell fate decisions in the developing embryo and adult tissues. Here we describe Blimp1 expression and functional requirements within maternal uterine tissues during pregnancy. Expression is robustly up-regulated at early post-implantation stages in the primary decidual zone (PDZ) surrounding the embryo. Conditional inactivation results in defective formation of the PDZ barrier and abnormal trophectoderm invasion. RNA-Seq analysis demonstrates down-regulated expression of genes involved in cell adhesion and markers of decidualisation. In contrast, genes controlling immune responses including IFNγ are up-regulated. ChIP-Seq experiments identify candidate targets unique to the decidua as well as those shared across diverse cell types including a highly conserved peak at the Csf-1 gene promoter. Interestingly Blimp1 inactivation results in up-regulated Csf1 expression and macrophage recruitment into maternal decidual tissues. These results identify Blimp1 as a critical regulator of tissue remodelling and maternal tolerance during early stages of pregnancy.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Animals, Decidua, Ectoderm, Embryo Implantation, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Macrophages, Male, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mutation, Positive Regulatory Domain I-Binding Factor 1, Pregnancy, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Transcription, Genetic, Trophoblasts, Up-Regulation