Cellular and Molecular Biology

Lectin binding patterns in normal canine endometrium and in bitches with pyometra and cystic endometrial hyperplasia

M. Leitner1,2, J.E. Aurich1, G. Galabova1, C. Aurich1 and I. Walter2

1Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology and
2Institute of Histology and Embryology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria

Offprint requests to: Dr. Ingrid Walter, Institute of Histology and Embryology University of Veterinary Medicine Veterinärplatz 1. A 1210 Vienna, Austria. Fax number: +43-1-25077-3490. e-mail: Ingrid.Walter@vu-wien.ac.at


Summary. Cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH) and pyometra in the bitch are dioestral syndromes, supposed to be caused by hormonal disturbances and changes in endometrial steroid hormone receptor levels. Histologically, the endometria show cystic dilated glands and, if bacteria succeed in invading the uterus, pyometra may develop in the following metoestrus. In this study, lectin histochemistry was performed on paraffin sections to compare carbohydrate expression of uterine glands and surface epithelium in healthy dogs and in dogs with CEH and pyometra. Lectin binding is a useful tool to identify glycoconjugates, especially of the glycocalyx, which has essential functions in the endometrium during reproduction. Uterine tissue was obtained from 18 healthy bitches in metoestrus or anoestrus and 18 bitches with a clinical diagnosis of CEH or pyometra. Normal endometria showed cycle-dependent changes in SBA, PNA, HPA and UEA binding during metoestrus and anoestrus. LCA did not show cycle-dependent changes and WGA bound to Golgi regions in the apical parts of surface epithelial cells only in metoestrous. Endometria with inflammatory alterations lost cycle-specific lectin binding patterns and, with increasing severity of pathological changes, showed a marked decrease in binding intensity to the glandular and surface epithelial glycocalyx and secretions. In dogs with CEH, unaltered glands with generally strong lectin binding to the glycocoalyx and Golgi regions were found adjacent to altered glands. The decrease of lectin binding in pyometra cases is supposed to be a result of glandular exhaustion after cystic hyperplasia. In addition, bacterial adhesion to sugar residues on the uterine surface epithelium might impede lectin binding. Histol. Histopathol. 18, 787-795 (2003)

Key words: Pyometra, Dog, Endometrium, Lectins, Glycocalyx

DOI: 10.14670/HH-18.787