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Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 in the endometrium in menorrhagia

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Angiogenesis is essential for endometrial growth and repair, and disruption of this process may lead to common gynecological disorders, including menorrhagia and endometriosis. We have recently shown that expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and its two main receptors, VEGFR-1 and -2, is increased in idiopathic menorrhagia (IM). The aim of this study was to determine the expression of VEGFR-3 in normal and IM endometrium. Endometrial biopsies from 24 patients with IM and 18 healthy and fertile women were used for immunohistochemistry assessments and image analyses of VEGFR-3 and CD34-stained endothelial structures. We found that weak to moderate expression of VEGFR-3 was present in stroma and glands throughout the menstrual cycle without differences between patients and controls. Capillaries expressed VEGFR-3 markedly, whereas arterioles and venules stained moderately to markedly. However, we observed that vascular expression of VEGFR-3 in capillaries was 1.6-fold higher in the IM group than in controls, when assessed as the number of stained capillaries per mm2. There was also a 2.0-fold higher number of arterioles, which were VEGFR-3 positive in the IM group. There was no difference with regard to the menstrual cycle between patients and controls. Thus, human endometrium expresses VEGFR-3, and expression of this receptor is increased in idiopathic menorrhagia. These results indicate that VEGFR-3 may play a role in the abnormal endometrial angiogenesis of IM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, S-14186 Stockholm, Sweden., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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