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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 7 (1999), Issue 1-2, Pages 5-9
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/S1064744999000022

Heat Shock Proteins in Human Endometrium Throughout the Menstrual Cycle

Department of Pathology, North Shore University Hospital, Biomedical Research Center, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset 11030, NY, USA

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Human endometrium, in response to steroid hormones, undergoes characteristic cycles of proliferation, secretory changes, and tissue shedding. Human endometrium expresses a molecular repertoire which includes the heat shock proteins (Hsps) Hsp27, Hsp60, Hsp70, Hsp90, and alpha crystallin B chain. The expression of Hsp27, Hsp60, and the constitutive form of Hsp70 (Hsc70) shows a sharp increase in human endometrium after ovulation. The maximal expression of the molecular chaperone, alpha crystallin B chain, occurs during the secretory phase. In view of known functions of the Hsps, it is likely that these proteins are involved in protection of the endometrial proteins against factors with the potential to lead to protein denaturation. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a cytotoxic cytokine that is produced in progressive amounts during the secretory phase. The function of the Hsps may be to protect cells against the cytotoxic damage of TNF-α, particularly during the critical period of “implantation window.” Infect. Dis. Obstet. Gynecol. 7:5–9, 1999. (C) 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.