Maternal decidua and fetal membranes contain immunoreactive neuropeptide Y
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The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the various intrauterine tissues contain immunoreactive neuropeptide Y (NPY). Previous observations showed that human placenta produces NPY and that it may play a local role. Using a polyclonal NPY antiserum and an im-munofluorescent technique, sections of maternal decidua, amnion and chorion collected from a pregnant women at parturition were studied. An intense positive staining for NPY was observed in epithelial amnion cells and in chorionic cytotrophoblast. Some of the maternal decidual cells showed a weaker signal of immunoreactive NPY. In evaluating whether NPY may coexist with other hormones in these tissues, adjacent slices of decidua, amnion and chorion were stained with activin ßB subunit antiserum. In the various tissues a relevant number of cells showed positive signals for both NPY and activin. The present findings showed that the various intrauterine tissues contain NPY and that in a large number of cells of amnion, chorion and decidua the neuropeptide is colocalized with immunoreactive activin. In view of the physiological implications of NPY in the regulation of uterine contractility and of placental hor-monogenesis, the present findings indicate a large distribution of NPY in the various intrauterine tissues.
Key-wordsNeuropeptide Y activin decidua fetal membranes pregnancy parturition placenta
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