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Hum Reprod. 2007 Jan;22(1):36-44. Epub 2006 Aug 12.

Seminal plasma and prostaglandin E2 up-regulate fibroblast growth factor 2 expression in endometrial adenocarcinoma cells via E-series prostanoid-2 receptor-mediated transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Science Unit, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK.



Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) has been shown to modulate angiogenesis and tumour progression via the E-series prostanoid-2 (EP2) receptor. Endometrial adenocarcinomas may be exposed to endogenous PGE(2) and exogenous PGE(2), present at high concentration in seminal plasma.


This study investigated fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) mRNA expression and cell signalling in response to seminal plasma or PGE(2), using an endometrial adenocarcinoma (Ishikawa) cell line stably expressing the EP2 receptor (EP2 sense cells) and endometrial adenocarcinoma explants.


Seminal plasma and PGE(2) induced a significant up-regulation of FGF2 expression in EP2 sense but not parental untransfected Ishikawa (wild-type) cells (P < 0.05). These effects were inhibited by co-treatment with EP2 receptor antagonist or inhibitors of protein kinase A, c-Src, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase or extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling. The treatment of EP2 sense cells with seminal plasma induced cAMP accumulation and phosphorylation of c-Src, EGFR kinase and ERK via the EP2 receptor. Finally, seminal plasma and PGE(2) significantly increased FGF2 mRNA expression in endometrial adenocarcinoma tissue explants via the EP2 receptor (P < 0.05).


Seminal plasma and PGE(2) can similarly activate FGF2 expression and EP2 receptor signalling in endometrial adenocarcinoma cells. These data highlight the potential for seminal plasma exposure to facilitate tumorigenesis-angiogenesis in endometrial adenocarcinomas in vivo.

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