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Mol Hum Reprod. 1999 Apr;5(4):358-64.

Fas ligand, Fas antigen and Bcl-2 expression in human endometrium during the menstrual cycle.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki, Japan.


In this study, we investigate Fas ligand expression in the human endometrium during the menstrual cycle in relation to Fas antigen and Bcl-2 expression, using immunoelectron microscopy and Western blotting. Endometrial samples were obtained from 54 pre-menopausal non-pregnant women who underwent laparotomies for benign diseases. The Fas ligand, as well as the Fas antigen, were expressed on the surface of endometrial glandular cells throughout the menstrual cycle, whereas Bcl-2 showed a cyclic expression pattern, peaking during the late proliferative phase. A noteworthy finding was that both the Fas ligand and the Fas antigen were localized on Golgi apparatuses and vesicles, in addition to the cell membranes, during the late proliferative phase. These results indicate that the Fas ligand and Fas antigen which are localized on Golgi apparatus and vesicles during the late proliferative phase are incorporated into the cell membranes during the secretory phase, and are co-expressed on the cell membranes of endometrial glands throughout the menstrual cycle. The factors regulating Fas-mediated apoptosis in the human endometrium, including the level of expression of the Fas ligand and Bcl-2 are discussed.

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