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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;86(8):3912-7.

A prospective, randomized study of endometrial telomerase during the menstrual cycle.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


The purpose of this study was to characterize telomerase activity during the menstrual cycle, focusing on the luteal phase. A total of 84 endometrial biopsy samples were obtained from 72 participants. Daily urinary LH testing (OvuQuick, Quidel) was used to establish the day of the LH rise, and participants were randomized to return during the secretory phase. Twelve women returned on the identical day during the luteal phase of a subsequent cycle to allow intercycle comparisons of telomerase activity. Telomerase activity was evaluated using a modified TRAP-eze (Intergen) detection protocol. At the time of each endometrial biopsy, serum estrogen and progesterone were measured. Proliferative phase endometrium showed high telomerase activity. At the onset of the luteal phase telomerase activity was high, but it decreased during the early luteal phase, disappeared by the midluteal phase (6 d after LH surge detected), and then rose to moderate levels in the late luteal phase beginning on luteal d 10. Serum progesterone levels were inversely related to telomerase activity. In conclusion, endometrial telomerase activity is dynamic: high during the proliferative phase but inhibited during the midsecretory phase of the menstrual cycle. The timing of expression coincides with the rise and fall of progesterone levels and the time period of maximal uterine receptivity for embryo implantation. This supports a relationship between sex steroid levels and telomerase regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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