Increased cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) expression in the human hydrosalpinx

Hum Reprod. 2005 May;20(5):1228-34. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deh773. Epub 2005 Feb 10.


Background: Hydrosalpinx (HSP), characterized by abnormal fluid accumulation in the Fallopian tube, is one of the main causes of infertility in women; however, the mechanism underlying the formation of hydrosalpinx fluid (HF) remains elusive. The present study investigated the possible involvement of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a cAMP-dependent chloride channel, in the pathogenesis of hydrosalpinx.

Methods: Masson's trichrome staining was used to characterize epithelial transformation in human HSP; RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining were used for CFTR expression and localization.

Results: Masson's trichrome staining showed areas of epithelial transformation, focally attenuated and pseudostratified. Immunostaining showed enhanced CFTR immunoreactivity in the focally attenuated and pseudostratified areas of HSP epithelium. RT-PCR revealed that CFTR expression in HSP was significantly greater than that in normal Fallopian tubes.

Conclusions: These results indicate that HSP epithelium undergoes epithelial transformation with elevated CFTR expression, which may lead to increased transepithelial electrolyte and fluid secretion resulting in HF formation. The present findings may lead to the development of new treatment strategies for infertile patients with HSP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / immunology
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / complications
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / genetics*
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / genetics
  • Infertility, Female / pathology
  • Reference Values
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator