Indexed on: 08 May '04Published on: 08 May '04Published in: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Activin-A is expressed by human endometrium, and the actions are counteracted by follistatin, its binding protein. We evaluated the endometrial mRNA and peptide expression of follistatin-related gene (FLRG), a protein that binds activin-A, preventing its interaction. By reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry, FLRG expression was evaluated in tissues collected at early proliferative (EP; n = 8) and late proliferative (LP; n = 8); early secretory (ES; n = 9) and late secretory (LS; n = 10); and in pregnancy, maternal decidua (MD; n = 12). FLRG mRNA was expressed by all samples, and semi-quantitative analysis showed that FLRG expression was significantly ( P < 0.001) higher in MD. FLRG was strongly immunolocalized in epithelial cells of glands and vessel walls (cytoplasma and nucleus), but only in the stromal cells nucleus. In MD, FLRG immunostaining was found in the nucleus and cytoplasm of vessel endothelium, gland epithelial, and decidualized stromal cells. In conclusion, FLRG is expressed by the human endometrium, and the different cellular localization suggests novel putative functions.