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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Galectin fingerprinting in human endometrium and decidua during the menstrual cycle and in early gestation.

The emerging functionality of the sugar code via cell surface glycans and endogenous lectins ascribes pertinent roles in cell physiology to the carbohydrate signals of cellular glycoconjugates. To initiate monitoring of endogenous lectins in human endometrium, we focused on a family of growth/adhesion-regulatory lectins, i.e. galectins. Comprehensive fingerprinting was performed on samples throughout the menstrual cycle and in decidua. The endometrium (n = 30) and decidua (n = 7) were collected from patients undergoing hysterectomy for benign reasons and from induced abortions. Measurements by RT-PCR and then by multiprobe RNase protection assay with total endometrial and decidual tissue and with epithelial cells, stromal cells and CD45-positive cell fractions (n = 16), isolated by the use of antibody-coated magnetic beads, revealed a predominant expression of galectins-1 and -3. Protein analysis was performed by immunocytochemistry with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies (n = 40). Galectin-1 was localized mainly in stromal cells, whereas galectin-3 was predominantly found in epithelial cells. Expression of galectin-1 increased significantly in the late secretory phase endometrium and in the decidual tissue. Expression of galectin-3 increased significantly during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle. Cycle-dependent expression of galectin-1 in stromal cells and galectin-3 in epithelial cells suggest these lectins to be involved in the regulation of different endometrial cellular functions.[1]


  1. Galectin fingerprinting in human endometrium and decidua during the menstrual cycle and in early gestation. von Wolff, M., Wang, X., Gabius, H.J., Strowitzki, T. Mol. Hum. Reprod. (2005) [Pubmed]
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