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Mol Hum Reprod. 2000 Dec;6(12):1093-8.

Localization of connective tissue growth factor in human uterine tissues.

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  • 1Department of Biological & Medical Research, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. uzumcu@Mail.wsu


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a recently described heparin-binding mitogen for fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the production of CTGF by human uterine tissues using immunohistochemical and Northern blotting analyses. For immunohistochemistry, formalin-fixed human proliferative (n = 5), early secretory (n = 5; days 15-19), mid-secretory (n = 5; days 20-23), late secretory (n = 5; days 24-28) endometrial, and decidual (n = 5) tissues were stained using a highly specific affinity-purified polyclonal antibody raised against residues 81-94 of human CTGF. Myometrial (n = 5) and leiomyoma (n = 5) tissues were also used for CTGF immunochemistry. In proliferative endometrium, epithelial and vascular endothelial cells showed strong CTGF immunoreactivity, whereas stromal cells were negative or only weakly positive for the CTGF protein. Throughout the entire secretory stage, CTGF was detected in epithelial and endothelial cells of endometrium. Stromal cells showed strong immunoreactivity to CTGF only in oedematous areas for early and mid-secretory endometrium, and in decidualized regions of late secretory endometrium. During pregnancy, the decidual, epithelial and endothelial cells of the endometrium were all immunoreactive to CTGF. In myometrial and leiomyoma samples, CTGF immunoreactivity was found only in the endothelial cells. Northern blotting of mRNA from normal uterus (n = 2) or leiomyoma (n = 6) using a 320 bp human CTGF cDNA probe revealed a single 2.4 kb transcript. This study is the first to demonstrate CTGF gene expression and localization of its encoded protein in human uterine tissues. The cell- and cycle-specific localization of CTGF support a role for this molecule in regulating aspects of uterine cell growth, migration, and/or matrix production during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

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