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Sequential appearance of relaxin, prolactin and IGFBP-1 during growth and differentiation of human endometrium


, : Sequential appearance of relaxin, prolactin and IGFBP-1 during growth and differentiation of human endometrium. Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology 95(1-2): 23-29

Relaxin (RLX) is a product of the human corpus luteum, pregnancy decidua and placenta, prolactin (PRL) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) are products of the cyclic endometrium and of the pregnancy decidua. All three proteins are thought to function interdependently in endometrium/decidua as local factors within the uterus without reaching the systemic circulation. In this study, the avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase method for immunolocalization with monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies has been applied to serial sections of endometria obtained from patients at different stages of the menstrual cycle and in early and late gestation. This allowed the cellular localization of the three proteins to be followed simultaneously through the reproductive stages from cyclic endometrium to term gestational decidua. The production, as opposed to sequestration of RLX from an ovarian source was demonstrated by the application in parallel of an antibody to the processed hormone and its connecting peptide. RLX was shown localized to the glandular and luminal epithelia in the proliferative and secretory phases. The decidualized stromal cells also immunostained for RLX in the late secretory phase and in early and late pregnancy. PRL was localized first to the glandular epithelium and then stroma, appearing after RLX, IGFBP-1 appeared later in the secretory phase and predominantly in the decidualized stromal cells confirming previous studies. In contrast, all three proteins were immunostained in early pregnancy and increased to term gestation. The sequential appearance of the three proteins suggests that they are regulated by different mechanisms in the early part of the menstrual cycle but the maintenance and increase in the late secretory phase and in early pregnancy suggests coordination by a common mechanism or stimulus.

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