Attenuated Tubal and Endometrial Urocortin 1 and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Expression in Ectopic Pregnancy


Fallopian tube (FT) and endometrial urocortin 1 (Ucn1) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-receptor (CRH-R1/CRH-R2) expression were examined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry in nonpregnant and pregnant women (intrauterine, IUP; ectopic pregnancy, EP). Tubal Ucn1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was higher in luteal compared to follicular phase (P <.01) and equivalent to follicular phase in FT from EP. Tubal CRH-R1/CRH-R2 mRNA was lower in luteal phase (P <.05) and in FT from EP compared to follicular phase (P <.01). Ucn1 mRNA was lower in endometrium from EP compared to IUP (P <.05). Corticotropin-releasing hormone-R1 mRNA was higher in endometrium from EP compared to viable IUP (P <.05). No differences were observed in CRH-R2 expression. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-R1 protein was primarily localized to epithelium of FT and endometrium. Quantitative analysis of tubal CRH-R1 protein expression reflected that seen at the mRNA level but endometrial expression was equivocal. The demonstration of attenuated tubal/endometrial Ucn1/CRH-R expression in EP further supports a role of the CRH-family in embryo implantation.

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Correspondence to Hilary O. D. Critchley MD.

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Borges, L.E., Horne, A.W., McDonald, S.E. et al. Attenuated Tubal and Endometrial Urocortin 1 and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Expression in Ectopic Pregnancy. Reprod. Sci. 18, 261–268 (2011).

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  • urocortin 1
  • corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor
  • Fallopian tube
  • endometrium
  • ectopic pregnancy