Background: Nuclear Hormone Receptors (NHR) are, as the name implies, receptors located in the
cell nucleus that have transcription modulating characteristics. Activated non-steroidal lipophilic ligands bind
these receptors resulting in dimerisation of the ligands, DNA-binding and transcriptional regulation of target
proteins that influence especially cell differentiation, metabolic homeostasis and embryogenesis.
Methods: This review is based on publications derived from PubMed based pursuit of scientific literature in
conjunction with the authors' experience.
Results: Here, a summary of NHR family members (RXR, PPAR, VDR, TR) first in respect to known general
aspects such as ligands, binding domains, signalling mechanism and second focussing especially their
influence on female reproduction is offered. Furthermore, crosstalk with other prominent signalling proteins
important to trophoblast function [signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), mitogen-activated
protein kinase (MAPK), nuclear factor 'kappa-light-chain-enhancer' of activated B-cells (NFκB), Akt/
phosphaidyl-3-kinase (PI3K), and Wnt, are described.
Conclusion: Considering their attributes, it is not surprising that NHR family members play a central role in
female reproduction by targeting cell differentiation, metabolic homeostasis and embryogenesis. However, it
seems that crosstalk depends on stage of trophoblast differentiation.