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

Involvement of Fas in regression of vaginal epithelia after ovariectomy and during an estrous cycle.

Fas, also called APO-1, belongs to the tumor necrosis factor/nerve growth factor receptor family and transmits an apoptotic signal within the cell by binding to the Fas ligand. Fas has been implicated in the activation-induced suicide of T cells and cytotoxic T cell activity in the immune system. Non-immune cells such as those in liver, lung and ovary also express Fas, but its role in these cells remains unclear. Ovariectomy has been used to study homeostasis of female reproductive organs, which is regulated by sex hormones. Here we analyzed Fas function in the ovariectomy-induced regression of mouse vaginal epithelial cells. Fas expression was detected in vagina and was elevated after ovariectomy. Fas-deficient lpr and lpr(cg) mice did not exhibit ovariectomy-induced regression of vaginal epithelia, whereas uterine regression induced by ovariectomy was not affected in these mice. The vaginas of lpr and lpr(cg) mice were in a persistent estrous stage with cornification of vaginal epithelia, as judged from the cell types in the vaginal fluid. Thus, Fas appears to be involved directly in the regression of vaginal epithelia induced by ovariectomy and during the estrous cycle, suggesting that the physiological role of this receptor extends beyond that exerted on immune cells. This is the first evidence of a role for Fas inducing physiological apoptosis in non-immune cells.[1]


  1. Involvement of Fas in regression of vaginal epithelia after ovariectomy and during an estrous cycle. Suzuki, A., Enari, M., Eguchi, Y., Matsuzawa, A., Nagata, S., Tsujimoto, Y., Iguchi, T. EMBO J. (1996) [Pubmed]
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