Steroid receptor expression and HER-2/neu (c-erbB-2) oncoprotein in the uterus of cats with cystic endometrial hyperplasia-pyometra complex

J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2006 Jun;53(5):225-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0442.2006.00822.x.


The presence of oestrogen-alpha receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER-2/neu (c-erbB-2) oncoprotein in the uterine walls of 10 healthy cats and 20 subjects with cystic endometrial hyperplasia-pyometra (CEH-P) were evaluated. Lesions were graded according to the severity of cystic dilation, hyperplasia and inflammation, and were classified as normal, mild uterine hyperplasia and severe uterine hyperplasia. The ER, PR and c-erbB-2 expression in the endometrium, glandular epithelium, stromal fibroblasts and myometrial smooth muscle cells was quantified by immunohistochemistry. The ER, PR and c-erbB-2 staining patterns differed between normal uteri and uteri with CEH-P. The ER expression was tended to be higher in the endometrial surface and glandular epithelium in the severe hyperplasia group (P > 0.05) and significantly lower in the mild hyperplasia cases compared with normal endometrium (P < 0.05), whereas the PR expression in both severe and mild hyperplasia cases tended to be higher in stromal cells and glandular epithelium than those in the normal uteri. C-erbB-2 immunoreactivity was observed only in the endometrial surface and glandular epithelium of the uterine wall and immunostaining was found to be highest in cases with severe hyperplasia. As a conclusion, we suggest that c-erbB-2 oncoprotein may play a role in the pathogenesis of the CEH together with the ER and PR in cats, and that ER does not have a role in the mechanism of pyometra, whereas PR plays a role in the pathogenesis of both CEH and pyometra.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / metabolism*
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry / veterinary
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Uterine Diseases / metabolism
  • Uterine Diseases / pathology
  • Uterine Diseases / veterinary*


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Receptor, ErbB-2