Immunohistochemical and electron microscopic observations of stromal cells in the human oviduct mucosa


Stromal cells in the lamina propria of the human oviduct mucosa are unique cells that can differentiate into decidual cells during ectopic pregnancy in the oviduct. The nature of stromal cells is still unknown. In the present study, we investigated human oviductal stromal cells with transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry and revealed that they had ultrastructural features similar to myofibroblasts and expressed alpha-smooth muscle actin, a marker used to identify myofibroblasts. Primary cilia were also one of the characteristic profiles of the stromal cells. These findings showed that the connective tissue-stromal cells in the human oviduct mucosa are myofibroblasts. They are considered to play an important role in the transport of oocytes by bringing about contraction of the mucosal folds.

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Correspondence to Haruo Hagiwara.

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Hagiwara, H., Ohwada, N., Aoki, T. et al. Immunohistochemical and electron microscopic observations of stromal cells in the human oviduct mucosa. Med Mol Morphol 41, 221–226 (2008).

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Key words

  • Myofibroblast
  • Oviduct
  • Ultrastructure
  • Dense body
  • Alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)
  • Primary cilia