The vasoactive peptide angiotensin-(1-7), its receptor Mas and the angiotensin-converting enzyme type 2 are expressed in the human endometrium

Reproductive Sciences
J Vaz-SilvaFernando M Reis

Abstract

Angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7) is one of the major active components of the renin-angiotensin system, produced from cleavage of Ang II by angiotensin-converting-enzyme type 2 (ACE2), which acts through a specific G protein-coupled receptor, Mas. We have investigated whether the human endometrium expresses these components during menstrual cycle. By radioimmunoassay, Ang-(1-7) was detected in endometrial wash fluid at picomolar concentrations. Using immunofluorescence, both the peptide and its receptor were identified in cultured endometrial epithelial and stromal cells. By immunohistochemistry, Ang(1-7) was localized in the endometrium throughout menstrual cycle, being more concentrated in the glandular epithelium of mid- and late secretory phase. This pattern corresponded to the ACE2 mRNA, which was more abundant in epithelial cells than in stromal cells (2-fold increase, p < 0.05) and in the secretory vs. proliferative phase (6.6-fold increase, p < 0.01). The receptor Mas was equally distributed between epithelial and stromal cells and did not change during menstrual cycle. The physiological role of this peptide system in normal and pathological endometrium warrants further investigation.

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