Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, 132:613

Ovarian hormones regulate expression of the focal adhesion proteins, talin and paxillin, in rat uterine luminal but not glandular epithelial cells

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00418-009-0641-x

Cite this article as:
Kaneko, Y., Lecce, L. & Murphy, C.R. Histochem Cell Biol (2009) 132: 613. doi:10.1007/s00418-009-0641-x


During early pregnancy in the rat, focal adhesions disassemble in uterine luminal epithelial cells at the time of implantation to facilitate their removal so that the implanting blastocyst can invade into the underlying endometrial decidual cells. This study investigated the effect of ovarian hormones on the distribution and protein expression of two focal adhesion proteins, talin and paxillin, in rat uterine luminal and glandular epithelial cells under various hormone regimes. Talin and paxillin showed a major distributional change between different hormone regimes. Talin and paxillin were highly concentrated along the basal cell surface of uterine luminal epithelial cells in response to oestrogen treatment. However, this prominent staining of talin and paxillin was absent and also a corresponding reduction of paxillin expression was demonstrated in response to progesterone alone or progesterone in combination with oestrogen, which is also observed at the time of implantation. In contrast, the distribution of talin and paxillin in uterine glandular epithelial cells was localised on the basal cell surface and remained unchanged in all hormone regimes. Thus, not all focal adhesions are hormonally dependent in the rat uterus; however, the dynamics of focal adhesion in uterine luminal epithelial cells is tightly regulated by ovarian hormones. In particular, focal adhesion disassembly in uterine luminal epithelial cells, a key component to establish successful implantation, is predominantly under the influence of progesterone.


Uterine epithelial cells Ovarian hormones Focal adhesions 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yui Kaneko
    • 1
  • Laura Lecce
    • 1
  • Christopher R. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Disciplines of Anatomy and Histology, School of Medical Sciences, The Bosch InstituteThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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