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2006 | 09 | 3 |
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Epidermal growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor immunoreactivity in the endothelial cells of the uterine artery and its branches during different stages of the estrous cycle in the pig

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The uterine artery and its branches are the most important vessels that supply the uterus with blood, nutrients and active substances. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and its receptor (EGFR) are expressed in many tissues, including reproductive organs, and is involved in angiogenesis, embryo implantation and development as well as in proliferation and differentiation of various cells. The aim of our study was to determine EGF and EGFR immunoexpression in the uterine artery and its branches during the estrous cycle in the pig. The experiment was performed on cryostat sections of the uterine artery and its branches stained immunohistochemically by ABC method. Light microscopic observations revealed the phase-related immunoreactivity of EGF and EGFR in the endothelial cells of the uterine artery and its branches. The highest intensity of EGF and EGFR immunoreaction in endothelial cells of the uterine artery was observed in the follicular phase. A significant decrease in the intensity of EGF and EGFR immunoreactivity was found in the middle luteal phase. Similar results of the immunostaining were found with regard to EGFR. In the endothelium of the uterine arterial branches, a significant increase in the intensity of EGF and EGFR-immunoreac- tivity was observed in the middle luteal phase. A decrease in the intensity of EGF immunostaining was observed in the late luteal phase. The phase-related expression of EGF and EGFR in the endothelium of the uterine artery and its branches suggest the modulatory effect of EGF and its receptor on the uterine artery and the region supplying these vessels.
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