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Publication Detail

Title: The Selective Progesterone Receptor Modulator Ulipristal Acetate Inhibits the Activity of the Glucocorticoid Receptor.

Authors: Small, Benjamin; Millard, Charles E F; Kisanga, Edwina P; Burman, Andreanna; Anam, Anika; Flannery, Clare; Al-Hendy, Ayman; Whirledge, Shannon

Published In J Clin Endocrinol Metab, (2020 03 01)

Abstract: CONTEXT: The selective progesterone modulator ulipristal acetate (ulipristal) offers a much-needed therapeutic option for the clinical management of uterine fibroids. Although ulipristal initially passed safety evaluations in Europe, postmarketing analysis identified cases of hepatic injury and failure, leading to restrictions on the long-term use of ulipristal. One of the factors potentially contributing to significant side effects with the selective progesterone modulators is cross-reactivity with other steroid receptors. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether ulipristal can alter the activity of the endogenous glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in relevant cell types. DESIGN: Immortalized human uterine fibroid cells (UtLM) and hepatocytes (HepG2) were treated with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone and/or ulipristal. Primary uterine fibroid tissue was isolated from patients undergoing elective gynecological surgery and treated ex vivo with dexamethasone and/or ulipristal. In vivo ulipristal exposure was performed in C57Bl/6 mice to measure the effect on basal gene expression in target tissues throughout the body. RESULTS: Dexamethasone induced the expression of established glucocorticoid-target genes period 1 (PER1), FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP5), and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) in UtLM and HepG2 cells, whereas cotreatment with ulipristal blocked the transcriptional response to glucocorticoids in a dose-dependent manner. Ulipristal inhibited glucocorticoid-mediated phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and DNA interactions of GR. Glucocorticoid stimulation of PER1, FKBP5, and GILZ was abolished by cotreatment with ulipristal in primary uterine fibroid tissue. The expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes was decreased in the lung, liver, and uterus of mice exposed to 2 mg/kg ulipristal. Interestingly, transcript levels of Fkbp5 and Gilz were increased in the hippocampus and pituitary. CONCLUSIONS: These studies demonstrate that ulipristal inhibits endogenous glucocorticoid signaling in human fibroid and liver cells, which is an important consideration for its use as a long-term therapeutic agent.

PubMed ID: 31665442 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Animals; Cell Line, Tumor; Dexamethasone/administration & dosage; Dexamethasone/adverse effects; Female; Gene Expression Profiling; Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects; Humans; Leiomyoma/pathology; Leiomyoma/therapy*; Mice; Models, Animal; Norpregnadienes/administration & dosage; Norpregnadienes/adverse effects*; Period Circadian Proteins/metabolism; Primary Cell Culture; Product Surveillance, Postmarketing/statistics & numerical data; Receptors, Glucocorticoid/antagonists & inhibitors*; Receptors, Glucocorticoid/metabolism; Signal Transduction/drug effects*; Tacrolimus Binding Proteins/metabolism; Transcription Factors/metabolism; Uterine Neoplasms/pathology; Uterine Neoplasms/therapy*; Uterus/pathology; Uterus/surgery

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