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Hossein Nikzad, Maryam Kabir-Salmani, Shigetatsu Shiokawa, Yoshiro Akimoto, Mitsutoshi Iwashita,
Volume 8, Issue 5 (7-2010)

Background: Pinopodes are suggested as biological markers of uterine receptivity, but their molecular components are unknown.
Objective: Co-expression of galectin-3 and avb3 integrin at human pinopodes has been examined in this study to propose a role for them during adhesion phase of embryo implantation.
Materials and Methods: Biopsies were obtained from early and mid luteal phase endometrium of 12 fertile women with regular menstrual periods (25-35 days) and the mean age of 37 years (range 25–45). Then, they were examined under light and scanning electron microscopy for detection and dating of pinopodes. Using immunofluorescent staining and immunogold electron microscopy, the expression of galectin-3 and avb3 integrin in human endometrium and pinopodes was detected. Further, statistical analysis was performed using immunogold electron microscopy to investigate the expression and subcellular distribution of these, before and during the frame of implantation window.
Results: The results demonstrated that pinopodes of luminal epithelial cells exhibited immunoreactivity for both galectin-3 and αvβ3 integrin, which was increased statistically significant (p< 0.05) at the time of implantation window. Furthermore, area-related distribution of these proteins was found higher in pinopodes compared to the neighboring apical membrane without pinopode.
Conclusion: Temporal and spatial expression of galectin-3 and αvβ3 integrin at pinopodes proposes a role for pinopodes in the adhesion of embryo and the involvement of galectin-3 as a binding partner of integrins in the human utero-fetal complex.
Hossein Nikzad, Hamed Haddad Kashani, Maryam Kabir-Salmani, Yoshihiro Akimoto, Mitsutoshi Iwashita,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (4-2013)

Background: The up-regulation of galectin-3, galectin-9, and galectin-15 expression in the luminal and glandular epithelium was reported in preparation of the endometrium for embryo implantation at the midlutheal phase. However, no data was available regarding the expression and the distribution pattern of galectin-8 in the human endometrium during a regular menstrual cycle.
Objective: The current study designed to investigate the expression and the distribution pattern of galectin-8, a beta-galactoside-binding lectin in the human endometrium during both proliferative and luteal phases of a regular menstrual cycle.
Materials and Methods: Endometrial biopsies were obtained from the anterior wall of the uterine cavity of 16 women (proliferative phase: n=4, lutheal phase: n=12). All female patients with mean age of 37.5 years were fertile (range 25-45) . Each biopsy was divided into three pieces; one piece was fixed in formaldehyde for light microscopy and immunohistochemistry. The second portion fixed in glutaraldehyde for scanning electron microscopy and the third portion was prepared for western blot analysis.
Results: Data of immunoblotting revealed a molecular weight of 34 kD band with high intensity in the lutheal phase samples. The immunohistochemistry staining demonstrated that galectin-8 expressed at a very low concentration during the proliferative phase, but showed a high expression throughout the lutheal phase. The expression of galectin-8 observed in luminal surface epithelium, glandular epithelium and stroma.
Conclusion: The up-regulation of the expression of galectin-8 during lutheal phase may suggest galectin-8 as one of the potential molecular marker of the endometrial receptivity. These data propose that galectin-8 may play an important role during the initial events of human embryo implantation.

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