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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Oct;92(3):175-85.

Triphasic pattern in the ex vivo response of human proliferative phase endometrium to oestrogens.

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Research Institute GROW, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the ex vivo oestrogen responsiveness of human proliferative phase endometrium using short-term explant cultures. The effects of oestrogen (17beta-E2) on proliferation and the expression of oestrogen-responsive genes known to be involved in regulating endometrial function were evaluated. Three distinct response patterns could be distinguished: (1) the menstrual (M) phase pattern (cycle days 2-5), which is characterised by a complete lack in the proliferative response to 17beta-E2, while an increased expression of AR (2.6-fold, P<0.01), PR (2.7-fold, P<0.01) and COX-2 (3.5-fold, P<0.01) at the mRNA level was observed and a similar upregulation was also found for AR, PR and COX-2 at the protein level; (2) the early proliferative (EP) phase pattern (cycle days 6-10) with 17beta-E2 enhanced proliferation in the stroma (1.7-fold, P<0.05), whereas the expression of AR, PR and COX-2 were not affected at the mRNA and protein levels and ER-alpha mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced by 17beta-E2; (3) the late proliferative (LP) phase pattern (cycle days 11-14), which is characterised by a moderate stimulation of proliferation (1.4-fold, P<0.05) and PR mRNA expression (1.7-fold, P<0.01) by 17beta-E2. In conclusion, three distinct response patterns to 17beta-E2 could be identified with respect to proliferation and the expression of known oestrogen-responsive genes in human proliferative phase endometrium explant cultures.

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