HISTOLOGY AND HISTOPATHOLOGY

From Cell Biology to Tissue Engineering

 

Aberrant levels of Wnt/β-catenin pathway components in a rat model of endometriosis

Rômulo Medina de Mattos1, Paula Rodrigues Pereira1, Eliane Gouvêa de Oliveira Barros1, Julianna Henriques da Silva1, Celia Yelimar Palmero1, Nathália Meireles da Costa2, Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto2, Etel Rodrigues Pereira Gimba2, Fábio Hecht3, Luciana Bueno Ferreira4, Daniel Escorsim Machado5, Felipe Leite de Oliveira1 and Luiz Eurico Nasciutti1

1Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 2National Cancer Institute, 3Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal and 5Health and Biological Sciences Center, Pharmacy College, State University of East Zone, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Offprint requests to: Dr. Luiz Eurico Nasciutti, Programa de Pesquisa em Biologia Celular e do Desenvolvimento, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Universitária - Ilha do Fundão 21941 - 590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. e-mail: luiz.nasciutti@histo.ufrj.br or luiz.nasciutti@icb.ufrj.br


Summary. Endometriosis is a benign gynecological disease affecting approximately 10-15% of women of reproductive age and 25-50% of all infertile women. It is characterized by the presence of glands and/or endometrial stroma outside the uterine cavity. Angiogenesis is a crucial process for the development and maintenance of endometriotic lesions. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a major promoter of angiogenesis in both physiological and pathological conditions. In the present study, we evaluated the expression of molecules related to the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in a rat model of peritoneal endometriosis. mRNA analyses showed significantly increased expression of Wnt4 and Wnt7b and decreased expression of Gsk3beta and E-cadherin in endometriotic lesions. However, there were no differences in β-catenin and Fzd2 mRNA expression. In addition, we observed a significant increase of nuclear β-catenin in endometriotic lesions, a hallmark of Wnt/ β -catenin pathway activation. Stromal β-catenin staining was found in 45.4% of endometrial tissues and 77.8% of endometriotic lesions. β-catenin nuclear localization was found in 18.2% of the endometrial tissues and 33.3% of endometriotic lesions. Finally, the expression of galectin-3, a regulator of this pathway, was increased in endometriosis. In summary, this pattern of Wnt/β-catenin components expression suggests an increased activity of this pathway in endometriosis. Histol Histopathol 31, 933-942 (2016)

Key words: Endometriosis, Wnt pathway, β-catenin, Galectin-3, Rat models

DOI: 10.14670/HH-11-730