Microvessel density and VEGF expression in pituitaries of pregnant women
OBJECTIVE: In pregnant women, the pituitary is enlarged and the prolactin (PRL) secreting cells increase in size and number. This PRL cell hyperplasia is associated with hyperprolactinemia. The aim of the present work was to investigate adenohypophysial vascularization and immunoexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in pituitaries of pregnant and post-partum women and compare the results with age-matched adenohypophyses of non-pregnant women who had no endocrine diseases. DESIGN: Pituitaries (n=18) obtained by autopsy from female patients of reproductive age who had died during pregnancy, after abortion or during post-partum were immunostained for CD-34 and VEGF using the streptavidinbiotin-peroxidase complex method. RESULTS: The results showed that microvessel densities and VEGF immunoexpression in the adenohypophyses of pregnant and post-partum women were similar to those found in the control pituitaries. CONCLUSION: It can be concluded that pituitary enlargement and PRL cell hyperplasia in pregnant women may occur without neovascularization and increased VEGF immunoexpression.
Key wordsAngiogenesis Immunohistochemistry Pituitary Pregnancy Vascular endothelial growth factor
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