Role of apoptosis, apoptosis-related factors and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases in human corpus luteum regression
2002 (English)In: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, ISSN 0303-7207, E-ISSN 1872-8057, Vol. 194, no 1-2, 191-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The human corpus luteum (CL) is a transient endocrine organ with a life span of 14-16 days. Apoptosis has been suggested to be the mechanism of CL regression and the possible regulatory role of the bcl-2 family in this process has been studied in animals and, to some extent, in humans. In the present study, apoptosis was studied in the human CL and in luteinised granulosa cells by in situ 3'-end labelling and gel electrophoretic DNA fragmentation analysis. The apoptosis-regulating factors Bcl-2, Bax and TNF-alpha, transcription factor NF-kappaB and Caspase-3, a key executioner protein in apoptotic cell death, were studied by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. Furthermore, we analysed expression of 17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17HSD) type 1 and 2, key enzymes in the estrogen metabolism. Apoptosis was found in the CL throughout the luteal phase, but a marked increase of apoptotic luteal cells was observed during the late luteal phase (CL day 11-14). This was preceded by a clear increase of 17HSD type 1 expression. The apoptosis-regulating proteins Bcl-2 and Bax were expressed constantly in the CL throughout the luteal phase. TNF-alpha expression was constant during the early and mid-luteal phases, but in the late luteal phase, some specimens showed increased immunostaining. NF-kappaB and Caspase-3 were present in the CL throughout the luteal phase and in individual specimens, the expression of Caspase-3 was associated with a high rate of apoptosis in the late luteal phase. In conclusion, apoptosis is involved in human luteal regression and estradiol (E(2)) may function as a trigger for this process. The expression of the pro- and anti-apoptotic factors studied in the CL suggest their part in this process, but the conclusive evidence for the exact molecular mechanisms remains open.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 194, no 1-2, 191-200 p.
Apoptosis; Corpus luteum; Bcl-2 family; TNF-α; Caspase-3; 17HSD
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37033DOI: 10.1016/S0303-7207(02)00087-4PubMedID: 12242042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37033DiVA: diva2:357534