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Mol Hum Reprod. 2011 Mar;17(3):182-92. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaq094. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Comprehensive expression analysis of prostanoid enzymes and receptors in the human endometrium across the menstrual cycle.

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MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK.


Prostanoids are well-described primary mediators of inflammatory processes and are essential for the normal physiological function of the female reproductive system. The aim of this study was to determine the temporal expression of the prostanoid biosynthetic enzymes (PTGS1, PTGS2, PTGES, PTGES2, PTGES3, AKR1B1, AKR1C3, CBR1, HPGDS, PTGDS, PTGIS, TBXAS1 and HPGD) and the prostanoid receptors (PTGER1, PTGER2, PTGER3, PTGER4, PTGFR, PTGDR, GPR44, PTGIR and TBXA2R) in the human endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle. The analysis identified PTGFR to have a distinct expression profile compared with other components of the prostanoid system, as expression is maximal during the proliferative phase. Immunohistochemical analysis for PTGER1 suggests a dual function for this receptor depending on its temporal (proliferative versus secretory) and spatial (nuclear versus cell membrane) expression. The expression profiles of the PGF(2α) synthases identified AKR1B1 and CBR1 as the likely regulators of PGF(2α) production during the menstrual phase. Immunohistochemical analysis for AKR1B1, CBR1 and AKR1C3 suggest expression to be in the glandular epithelium and vasculature. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of the components of prostanoid biosynthetic and signalling pathway in the human endometrium. The expression profiles described have the potential to identify specific prostanoid components that may be dysregulated in inflammatory-associated disorders of the endometrium.

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