Oestrogen, progesterone and paracrine signals from the embryo have been associated with the overall control of implantation. Changes in the expression of the heavily glycosylated transmembrane glycoprotein MUC1 mucin on the endometrial epithelium are also thought to be important for embryo attachment. Increased MUC1 expression has been correlated with elevated progesterone levels in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle. Embryonic control of endometrial receptivity through changes in MUC1 expression could be achieved through the interleukin-1 system. Four endometrial epithelial cell lines (HEC1A, HEC1B, Ishikawa and RL592) were treated with oestrogen and progesterone (with or without interleukin-1-beta) and were subjected to immunocytochemistry and flow cytometric analysis to determine MUC1 production using MUC1 antibodies. HEC1A (oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) positive) and HEC1B (ER positive and PR negative) were transfected with the MUC1 promoter, underwent similar treatment regimes and the activity of the MUC1 promoter relative to their untreated controls was determined using a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) enzyme-linked immunoassay. Using the cell lines, we determined that endometrial MUC1 expression is up-regulated by progesterone, consistent with the in vivo increases in MUC1 related to high progesterone levels. We also revealed that neither oestrogen, nor interleukin-1-beta, appear to modulate MUC1. Progesterone-dependent regulation of MUC1 is likely to be an important factor in determining endometrial receptivity.