Marker molecules of human endometrial differentiation can be hormonally regulated under in-vitro conditions as in-vivo.
An established cell culture system of isolated human endometrial stromal and epithelial cells has been used to study the effects of oestrogen and progesterone, as well as their antagonists, upon endometrial cells. Normal hormonal regulation in vivo was investigated simultaneously in endometrial tissue samples taken at different phases of the menstrual cycle. Several marker molecules analysed by immunohistochemistry appeared to depend strongly on endocrine regulation and could be traced in culture. Immunohistochemically, basic parameters of cell biology were identified in vitro, e.g. cell proliferation (Ki-67), adhesion molecules (beta3 integrin) and paracrine factors (leukaemia inhibitory factor). The most reliable parameters to assess hormonal influences were oestrogen and progesterone receptor molecules. Immunohistochemical localization could be improved by molecular biological analysis using RT-PCR. In the presence of oestrogen, a significant expression of hormone receptors was also shown by RT-PCR, and withdrawal of oestrogens and addition of gestagen, i.e. medroxyprogesterone acetate, caused receptor downregulation. Addition of the anti-oestrogen ICI 182.780 to cell-culture medium significantly decreased the synthesis of progesterone receptors. (+info)
Modulation of oestrogenic effects by progesterone antagonists in the rat uterus.
Antiprogestins can modulate oestrogenic effects in various oestrogen-dependent tissues, dependent on species, tissue, dose and duration of treatment. Enhanced oestrogenic responses to mifepristone and onapristone occur in vitro and in vivo. However, the antiprogestins mifepristone, onapristone, and ZK 137 316 can block the ability of oestradiol to increase endometrial growth in non-human primates. Our purposes were firstly, to decide whether mifepristone and onapristone had direct oestrogenic activity in vitro and in the uterus of spayed and immature rats, and secondly, to discover whether antiprogestins exhibit inhibitory effects on oestrogen action in the uterus in spayed, oestrogen-substituted rats. In transactivation assays, mifepristone induced oestrogenic response, whereas onapristone had only marginal effects on reporter gene transcription. In immature rats, onapristone and mifepristone markedly increased uterine weights, and onapristone, but not mifepristone significantly enhanced endometrial luminal epithelial height, a sensitive oestrogen parameter. Conversely, in spayed and adrenalectomized rats, neither onapristone nor mifepristone changed uterine weights or endometrial morphology, indicating that their effects in immature rats were indirect. In spayed, oestrogen-substituted rats, antiprogestins did not block oestradiol-stimulated endometrial growth and luminal and glandular epithelium were stimulated more after antiprogestin plus oestrogen, than after oestradiol alone. All compounds induced compaction of the uterine stroma. In spayed rats, onapristone and some other 13alpha-configured (type 1) antagonists (ZK 135 569, ZK 131 535) reduced oestradiol-stimulated myometrial proliferation and induced an overall uterine weight reduction in animals treated with oestrogen and antiprogestins, in comparison with oestradiol-treated controls. 13beta- configured (type II) antagonists, including mifepristone, lilopristone and ZK 112 993, were not effective. In the uteri of spayed rats, onapristone was also found to enhance the oestradiol-stimulatory effect on expression of the oestrogen-dependent proto-oncogene, c-fos. In conclusion, antiprogestins do not inhibit, but rather enhance, oestrogen-induced uterine glandular and luminal epithelium in spayed rats, contrary to their effects in primates. The rat model is unsuitable to study endometrial antiproliferative effects of antiprogestins in primate uteri. (+info)
Mechanism of action and clinical effects of antiprogestins on the non-pregnant uterus.
Considerable progress has been made in elucidating the mechanism of action of antiprogestins. The biological response to a progesterone antagonist depends on many factors. The usual effect is that of an antagonist, but progesterone agnostic or even antioestrogenic or oestrogenic effects have also been observed. The present review focuses on the clinical applications of antiprogestins in the non-pregnant uterus. Whereas high doses of antiprogestins block ovulation, low doses impair endometrial development without affecting ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns Indeed, the endometrium is the tissue which is the most sensitive to antiprogestins. The effect of antiprogestins is to produce a delay in endometrial maturation and to postpone the appearance of the implantation window. This concept of 'endometrial contraception' requires further testing in humans, although the principle has been proven in monkeys. In contrast to the low doses of mifepristone which delay endometrial maturation, a minimum dose of 50 mg is required to produce endometrial bleeding. Late luteal phase antiprogestin administration does not disturb ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns. This has clinical application, and mifepristone has been used together with prostaglandins in women with delayed menses to successfully prevent implantation. Mifepristone has also been shown to be an effective post-coital agent. However, when used on a regular basis once monthly at the end of the cycle as a potential contraceptive, the results are disappointing. Because of their antiproliferative and anti-oestrogenic effects on the endometrium, antiprogestins are also used in the treatment of oestrogen-dependent conditions such as endometriosis and fibromyomas. In humans, chronic administration of high doses of antiprogestins has on rare occasions been associated with endometrial hyperplasia, presumably a consequence of unopposed oestrogen activity. This does not occur with low doses (1 mg daily for 5 months). (+info)
Expression pattern of integrin adhesion molecules in endometriosis and human endometrium.
Integrins are cell adhesion molecules that undergo cell-specific dynamic changes during the normal menstrual cycle in the human endometrium. Here, using immunohistochemistry, we have investigated the expression pattern of the integrins alphav, alpha2beta1, alpha3beta1, alpha3, alpha6, beta1, beta2 and beta3 in the human ectopic endometrium of 30 patients and in nine cases in the corresponding eutopic endometrium. The biopsies were obtained during the early or late follicular phase (25 cases), during the corpus luteum phase (four cases) and in one case after 6 months' treatment with a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. The integrin expression was independent of the ovarian steroid situation at the time of biopsy. The integrin alpha6 was expressed in all endometriotic and endometrium samples. The integrin alpha3 was absent in all endometrium tissues of patients with endometriosis. However, the corresponding endometriotic lesions re-expressed this adhesion molecule in 15 cases. No change in integrin beta3 expression pattern could be demonstrated in either endometriotic lesions or endometrium samples, regardless of the menstrual cycle phase. A correlation between serum oestradiol and progesterone concentrations and the expression of the investigated integrins was not observed, thus indicating that these two hormones play a minor role in the regulation of the cell adhesion molecules examined. Our investigation suggests that endometriosis is a dedifferentiated disease as it expressed different integrins in comparison with the eutopic endometrium, and independently of the hormonal situation. The ability of endometriotic tissues to express integrins may explain the high recurrence rates in patients with endometriosis, as these samples retain their adhesion potency after retrograde menstruation and are thus able to establish cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions with the surrounding peritoneum. (+info)
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue conjugates with strong selective antitumor activity.
Conjugation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues GnRH-III, MI-1544, and MI-1892 through lysyl side chains and a tetrapeptide spacer, Gly-Phe-Leu-Gly (X) to a copolymer, poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone-co-maleic acid) (P) caused increased antiproliferative activity toward MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast, PC3 and LNCaP prostate, and Ishikawa endometrial cancer cell lines in culture and against tumor development by xenografts of the breast cancer cells in immunodeficient mice. MCF-7 cells treated with P-X-1544 and P-X-1892 displayed characteristic signs of apoptosis, including vacuoles in the cytoplasm, rounding up, apoptotic bodies, bleb formation, and DNA fragmentation. Conjugates, but not free peptides, inhibited cdc25 phosphatase and caused accumulation of Ishikawa and PC3 cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle after 24 h at lower doses and in the G1 and G2 phases after 48 h. Since P-X-peptides appear to be internalized, the increased cytotoxicity of the conjugates is attributed to protection of peptides from proteolysis, enhanced interaction of the peptides with the GnRH receptors, and/or internalization of P-X-peptide receptor complexes so that P can exert toxic effects inside, possibly by inhibiting enzymes involved in the cell cycle. The additional specificity of P-X-peptides compared with free peptides for direct antiproliferative effects on the cancer cells but not for interactions in the pituitary indicates the therapeutic potential of the conjugates. (+info)
Intrapreoptic microinjection of GHRH or its antagonist alters sleep in rats.
Previous reports indicate that growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is involved in sleep regulation. The site of action mediating the nonrapid eye movement sleep (NREMS)-promoting effects of GHRH is not known, but it is independent from the pituitary. GHRH (0.001, 0. 01, and 0.1 nmol/kg) or a competitive antagonist of GHRH (0.003, 0.3, and 14 nmol/kg) was microinjected into the preoptic area, and the sleep-wake activity was recorded for 23 hr after injection in rats. GHRH elicited dose-dependent increases in the duration and in the intensity of NREMS compared with that in control records after intrapreoptic injection of physiological saline. The antagonist decreased the duration and intensity of NREMS and prolonged sleep latency. Consistent alterations in rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) and in brain temperature were not found. The GHRH antagonist also attenuated the enhancements in NREMS elicited by 3 hr of sleep deprivation. Histological verification of the injection sites showed that the majority of the effective injections were in the preoptic area and the diagonal band of Broca. The results indicate that the preoptic area mediates the sleep-promoting activity of GHRH. (+info)
Kleine-Levin and Munchausen syndromes in a patient with recurrent acromegaly.
Hypothalamic disease often affects the patients' personality and this also applies to pituitary tumors with suprasellar extension. We report on a patient with a 12-year history of recurrent acromegaly, treated with three transphenoidal operations, single field radiation therapy and bromocriptine/octreotide administration. During the course of follow-up she presented with self-inflicted anemia and Kleine-Levin syndrome (hypersomnia, hyperphagia and hypersexuality). Furthermore, she developed post-radiation necrosis within the right temporal lobe. Whether her neurological and personality disorders result - at least partially - from the acromegaly or the temporal lobe necrosis remains unclear. (+info)
Altered leucocyte trafficking and suppressed tumour necrosis factor alpha release from peripheral blood monocytes after intra-articular glucocorticoid treatment.
OBJECTIVES: A generalised transient improvement may follow intra-articular administration of glucocorticoids to patients with inflammatory arthropathy. This may represent a systemic anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoid released from the joint, mediated through processes such as altered leucocyte trafficking or suppressed release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Patients, who had received intra-articular injections of glucocorticoids were therefore studied for evidence of these two systemic effects. METHODS: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were studied. Peripheral blood leucocyte counts, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) release by peripheral blood monocytes, blood cortisol concentrations, and blood methylprednisolone concentration were measured for 96 hours after intra-articular injection of methylprednisolone acetate. RESULTS: Measurable concentrations of methylprednisolone were present in blood for up to 96 hours after injection. Significant suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis persisted throughout this time. Altered monocyte and lymphocyte trafficking, as evidenced by peripheral blood monocytopenia and lymphopenia, was apparent by four hours after injection and resolved in concordance with the elimination of methylprednisolone. Granulocytosis was observed at 24 and 48 hours. Release of TNF alpha by endotoxin stimulated peripheral blood monocytes was suppressed at four hours and thereafter. Suppression was maximal at eight hours and was largely reversed by the glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone. CONCLUSIONS: After intra-articular injection of methylprednisolone, blood concentrations of glucocorticoid are sufficient to suppress monocyte TNF alpha release for at least four days and to transiently alter leucocyte trafficking. These effects help to explain the transient systemic response to intra-articular glucocorticoids. Suppression of TNF alpha is principally a direct glucocorticoid effect, rather than a consequence of other methylprednisolone induced changes to blood composition. (+info)