Estrogen stimulates the human endometrium to express a factor(s) that promotes vascular smooth muscle cell migration as an early step in microvessel remodeling

Endocrine. 2009 Feb;35(1):81-8. doi: 10.1007/s12020-008-9128-0. Epub 2008 Nov 19.


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration is a pivotal early step in blood vessel remodeling; however, very little is known about the regulation of this process in the human endometrium during the menstrual cycle. In this study, explants of human endometrium were incubated with estradiol and/or progesterone and the conditioned medium (CM) applied to cultures of VSMC to test the hypothesis that estrogen and progesterone stimulate endometrial cells to secrete a factor(s) that promotes VSMC migration. Endometrial explants were composed of highly organized glands and stroma. VSMC migration (cells migrated in 21 h/mm(2) fibronectin-coated semipermeable membrane) in the presence of CM from human endometrial explants obtained in the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle and incubated for 24 h with estradiol was approximately threefold greater (P < 0.001) than with medium alone and greater (P < 0.05) than with CM from explants treated with estradiol plus progesterone or progesterone. It is concluded, therefore, that estrogen stimulates endometrial secretion of a factor(s) that promotes VSMC migration as an early step in vessel remodeling within the endometrium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents / metabolism
  • Angiopoietin-1 / genetics
  • Angiopoietin-1 / metabolism
  • Angiopoietin-1 / physiology
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Movement / genetics*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / metabolism
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Endometrium / blood supply
  • Endometrium / drug effects*
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / genetics
  • Follicular Phase / metabolism
  • Follicular Phase / physiology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase / genetics
  • Luteal Phase / metabolism
  • Luteal Phase / physiology
  • Microvessels / drug effects
  • Microvessels / metabolism
  • Microvessels / physiology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / physiology
  • Regeneration / drug effects
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Time Factors


  • ANGPT1 protein, human
  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • Angiopoietin-1
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Estradiol