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Mol Hum Reprod. 2000 Oct;6(10):915-20.

Gene expression and tissue concentrations of IGF-I in human myometrium and fibroids under different hormonal conditions.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, S-141 86 Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.


The expression of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) was measured at the mRNA and protein level in myometrium and fibroids from women with and without preoperative treatment with a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist for 3 months, from post-menopausal women, from pregnant women and in myometrium from women without fibroid disease. Women with menstrual periods were classified according to the phase of the cycle. In tissues from non-treated premenopausal women, IGF-I mRNA expression was significantly higher in fibroids than in myometrium, with no differences related to phase of the menstrual cycle. In post-menopausal women and in GnRH agonist-treated women responding to treatment, similar mRNA expression was seen in myometrium and fibroids but the concentrations were lower than in untreated premenopausal women. The IGF-I mRNA value in fibroids from pregnant women was higher than in any other group and myometrium from pregnant women exhibited higher mRNA expression than myometrium from non-treated premenopausal women. The IGF-I protein was more abundant in fibroids than in myometrium of non-treated premenopausal and of pregnant women and in both tissues the concentration was significantly higher in the group of pregnant women. The IGF-I protein concentrations in fibroids and myometrium from GnRH agonist-treated and post-menopausal women were similar to those from premenopausal non-treated women. High sex steroid concentrations in pregnant and non-pregnant women of fertile age seem to be associated with a higher expression of IGF-I in fibroids than in myometrium, suggesting that IGF-I contributes to the selective growth advantage of these tumours.

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