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Cyclooxygenase gene expression in human endometrium and decidua.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


The objective of this study was to determine if genes for cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase, key enzymes in the synthesis of eicosanoids, are expressed in human endometrium and to determine if the level of expression is affected by decidualization or preeclampsia, a form of pregnancy-induced hypertension. RT-PCR was used to detect mRNA in tissues obtained from various patients. Results demonstrated that COX and 5-lipoxygenase genes are expressed in endometrium and decidua. COX gene expression in endometrium is 2-3-fold greater than in decidua while 5-lipoxygenase gene expression is similar. Neither COX nor 5-lipoxygenase gene expression in decidua is altered by changes resulting from preeclampsia. Thus, genes for key enzymes in the synthesis of eicosanoids are expressed in human endometrium and decidua. Selective down-regulation is evident as decidualization results in a significant reduction in the gene expression of COX, while 5-lipoxygenase gene expression remains unchanged.

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