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Expression of the epidermal growth factor system in human endometrium during the menstrual cycle

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The epidermal growth factor (EGF) system is ubiquitous in humans and plays fundamental roles in embryogenesis, development, proliferation and differentiation. As the endometrium of fertile women is characterized by proliferation and differentiation, we hypothesize a role for the EGF system. Fourteen premenopausal women had endometrial samples removed on day 6 +/- 1 and day 6 +/- 1 and 12 +/- 1 after ovulation during one menstrual cycle. RNA was extracted and analysed by real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry was performed to localize the components of the EGF system. Human EGF Receptor 1 (HER1) showed highest expression during the proliferative phase, HER2 and HER4 during the early and HER3 during the late secretory phase. Amphiregulin (AR) and transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha) expression is highest in proliferative phase. Heparin binding (HB)-EGF and betacellulin (BCL) show no variation. Epiregulin (EP) is detectable in some samples. EGF is undetectable. HER1, HER2, HER3 and HER4 were localized to the epithelium and glands HER3 and HER4 solely in the secretory phase. Amphiregulin was seen in leucocytes and stromal cells, TGFalpha and betacellulin in the epithelial lining, epiregulin in stromal cells whereas HB-EGF and EGF are undetectable. In conclusions, we observed cyclical expression of the four EGF receptors and two ligands and localized all four receptors and four ligands in endometrial biopsies. This suggests a role for the EGF system in growth of the endometrium.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMolecular Human Reproduction
Vol/bind11
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)543-51
Antal sider9
ISSN1360-9947
DOI
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2005

ID: 47486175