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Hum Reprod. 1995 Dec;10(12):3259-63.

Epithelial cells are the major source of biologically active granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor in human endometrium.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has emerged as an important growth factor for trophoblast and other placental cells, leading to improved placental functioning and fetal survival. Recent observations have indicated that GM-CSF is synthesized by epithelial cells in the murine pregnant and non-pregnant uterus. In this study, the production of GM-CSF by cells derived from human endometrium is assessed using a sensitive bioassay and specific neutralization of the cytokine bioactivity with a monoclonal antibody to GM-CSF. Originally, GM-CSF was assayed in the culture supernatants of explant cultures of human endometria. Concentrations of GM-CSF up to 4440 pg/ml were detected. Subsequently, enriched epithelial cell cultures were prepared from glands isolated from human endometrium. The purity of epithelial cultures was demonstrated by the expression of cytokeratin, a weak immunoreactivity for vimentin and a lack of immunoreactivity for leukocyte common antigen, CD68, a macrophage-specific protein and endothelial marker (factor VIII-related antigens). Detected concentrations of GM-CSF were as high as 18,800 pg/ml. Furthermore, pure epithelial cells of a neoplastic endometrial cell line ECC1 secreted GM-CSF, confirming the ability of endometrial epithelial cells to secrete this cytokine. The immunostaining of dated endometria from proliferative and secretory phases showed primarily that epithelial cells, and to a lesser extent stromal cells, exhibited immunoreactivity for GM-CSF. A Western blot analysis, performed to validate the immunohistochemical data, confirmed the presence of an immunoreactive gene product for GM-CSF in human endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle. These findings indicate that human endometrium synthesizes GM-CSF and that epithelial cells are a major contributor to its production.

PMID:
8822455
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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