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See detailEstetrol is a weak estrogen antagonizing estradiol-dependent mammary gland proliferation.
Gérard, Céline ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg; Communal, Laudine et al

in Journal of Endocrinology (2015), 224(1), 86-95

Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen produced exclusively by the human fetal liver during pregnancy. Its physiological activity remains unknown. In contrast to ethinyl estradiol (EE) and estradiol (E2), E4 ... [more ▼]

Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen produced exclusively by the human fetal liver during pregnancy. Its physiological activity remains unknown. In contrast to ethinyl estradiol (EE) and estradiol (E2), E4 has a minimal impact on liver cells activity and could provide a better safety profile in contraception or hormone therapy. The aim of this study was to delineate if E4 exhibits an activity profile distinct from that of E2 on mammary gland. Compared to E2, E4 acted as a low affinity estrogen in both, human in vitro and murine in vivo, models. E4 was 100 times less potent than E2 to stimulate the proliferation of human breast epithelial (HBE) cells and murine mammary gland in vitro and in vivo, respectively. This effect was prevented by fulvestrant and by tamoxifen supporting the notion that ERalpha is the main mediator of the estrogenic effect of E4 on the breast. Interestingly, when E4 was administered along with E2, it significantly antagonized the strong stimulatory effect of E2 on HBE cells proliferation and on the growth of mammary ducts. This study characterizes for the first time the impact of E4 on mammary gland. Our results highlight that E4 is less potent than E2 and exhibits antagonistic properties towards the proliferative effect of E2 on breast epithelial cells. These data support E4 as a potential new estrogen for clinical use with a reduced impact on breast proliferation. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of mouse strain on ovarian tissue recovery after engraftment with angiogenic factor.
Fransolet, Maïté ULg; Henry, Laurie ULg; Labied, Soraya et al

in Journal of Ovarian Research (2015), 8(1), 14

BACKGROUND: For women facing gonadotoxic treatment, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue with subsequent retransplantation during remission is a promising technique for fertility preservation. However ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: For women facing gonadotoxic treatment, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue with subsequent retransplantation during remission is a promising technique for fertility preservation. However, follicle loss within grafted ovarian tissue can be caused by ischemia and progressive revascularization. Several xenograft models using different immunodeficient rodent lines are suitable for studying ovarian tissue survival and follicular viability after frozen-thawed ovarian cortex transplantation. SCID mice, which are deficient for functional B and T cells, are the most commonly used mice for ovarian xenograft studies. However, due to incomplete immunosuppression, NOD-SCID mice displaying low NK cell function and an absence of circulating complement might be more appropriate. The present study aims to define the most appropriate immunodeficient mouse strain for ovarian tissue xenotransplantation by comparing ovarian graft recovery in SCID and NOD-SCID mice following engraftment in the presence of isoform 111 of vascular endothelial growth factor. METHODS: Sheep ovarian cortex fragments were embedded in a collagen matrix, with or without VEGF111, before being stitched onto the ovaries of SCID and NOD-SCID mice. Transplants were recovered after 3 days to study early revascularization or after 3 weeks to evaluate follicle preservation and tissue fibrosis through histological analyses. RESULTS: At day 3, vessels were largely reorganized in the ovarian grafts of both mouse strains. After 3 weeks, the cortical tissue was clearly identifiable in SCID mice but not in NOD-SCID mice. Upon VEGF111 treatment, vascularization was significantly improved 3 days after transplantation in SCID mice. This increase in vessel density was correlated with better follicular preservation in SCID mice 3 weeks after transplantation. Fibrosis was not decreased by VEGF treatment in either mouse strain. CONCLUSIONS: Tissue architecture and follicular morphology were better preserved in ovarian tissues grafted in SCID mice in comparison with NOD-SCID mice. Moreover, tissue revascularization was improved in SCID mice by VEGF111 graft treatment. Thus, we consider SCID mice to be the best murine model for studying ovarian tissue xenografts. [less ▲]

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See detailIsoform 165 of vascular endothelial growth factor in collagen matrix improves ovine cryopreserved ovarian tissue revascularisation after xenotransplantation in mice.
Henry, Laurie ULg; LABIED, Soraya ULg; Fransolet, Maïté ULg et al

in Reproductive biology and endocrinology (2015), 13(1), 15

BACKGROUND: Aggressive anti-cancer treatments can result in ovarian failure. Ovarian cryopreservation has been developed to preserve the fertility of young women, but early graft revascularisation still ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Aggressive anti-cancer treatments can result in ovarian failure. Ovarian cryopreservation has been developed to preserve the fertility of young women, but early graft revascularisation still requires improvement. METHODS: Frozen/thawed sheep ovarian cortical biopsies were embedded in collagen matrix with or without isoform 165 of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) and transplanted into ovaries of immunodeficient mice. Ovaries were chosen as transplantation sites to more closely resemble clinical conditions in which orthotopic transplantation has previously allowed several spontaneous pregnancies. RESULTS: We found that VEGF165 significantly increased the number of Dextran-FITC positive functional vessels 3 days after grafting. Dextran- fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) positive vessels were detectable in 53% and 29% of the mice in the VEGF-treated and control groups, respectively. Among these positive fragments, 50% in the treated group displayed mature smooth-muscle-actin-alpha (alpha-SMA) positive functional vessels compared with 0% in the control group. CD31 positive murine blood vessels were observed in 40% of the VEGF165 transplants compared with 21% of the controls. After 3 weeks, the density of murine vessels was significantly higher in the VEGF165 group. CONCLUSION: The encapsulation of ovarian tissue in collagen matrix in the presence of VEGF165 before grafting has a positive effect on functional blood vessel recruitment. It can be considered as a useful technique to be improved and further developed before human clinical applications in female cancer patients in the context of fertility preservation. [less ▲]

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See detailEstetrol attenuates neonatal hypoxic–ischemic brain injury
Tskitishvili, Ekaterine ULg; Nisolle, Michelle ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg et al

in Experimental Neurology (2014), 261

Estetrol (E4) is a recently described natural estrogen with four hydroxyl-groups that is synthesized exclusively during pregnancy by the human fetal liver. It has important antioxidative activity. The aim ... [more ▼]

Estetrol (E4) is a recently described natural estrogen with four hydroxyl-groups that is synthesized exclusively during pregnancy by the human fetal liver. It has important antioxidative activity. The aim of the present study was to define the importance of E4 in the attenuation of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Antioxidative effect of 650μM, 3.25mM and 6.5mM E4 on primary hippocampal cell cultures was studied before/after H202-induced oxidative stress. To examine oxidative stress and cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase activity and cell proliferation colorimetric assays were performed. To study the neuroprotective and therapeutic effects of E4 in vivo neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy model of 7-day-old newborn rat pups was used. The neuroprotective and therapeutic effects of estetrol before/after hypoxic-ischemic insult was studied in 1mg/kg/day, 5mg/kg/day, 10mg/kg/day, 50mg/kg/day E4 pretreated/treated groups and compared with the sham and the vehicle treated groups. The body temperature of the rat pups was examined along with their body and brain weights. Brains were studied at the level of the hippocampus and cortex. Intact cell counting and expressions of microtubule-associated protein-2, doublecortin and vascular-endothelial growth factor were evaluated by histo- and immunohistochemistry. ELISAs were performed on blood samples to detect concentrations of S100B and glial fibrillary acidic protein as brain damage markers. This work reveals for the first time that E4 significantly decreases LDH activity and enhances cell proliferation in primary hippocampal neuronal cell cultures in vitro, and decreases the early gray matter loss and promotes neuro- and angiogenesis in vivo. [less ▲]

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See detailTreg/Th17 balance during murine embryo implantation and pregnancy
Polese, Barbara ULg; Gridelet, Virginie ULg; Araklioti, Eleni et al

Poster (2014, November)

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See detailEGFR activation and signaling in cancer cells are enhanced by the membrane-bound metalloprotease MT4-MMP.
Paye, Alexandra ULg; Truong, Alice ULg; Yip, Cassandre ULg et al

in Cancer Research (2014), 74(23), 6758-70

MT4-MMP (MMP-17) is a GPI-anchored matrix metalloprotease expressed on the surface of cancer cells which promotes tumor growth and metastasis. In this report, we identify MT4-MMP as an important driver of ... [more ▼]

MT4-MMP (MMP-17) is a GPI-anchored matrix metalloprotease expressed on the surface of cancer cells which promotes tumor growth and metastasis. In this report, we identify MT4-MMP as an important driver of cancer cell proliferation through CDK4 activation and retinoblastoma protein (Rb) inactivation. We also determine a functional link between MT4-MMP and the growth factor receptor EGFR. Mechanistic experiments revealed direct association of MT4-MMP and its positive effects on EGFR phosphorylation in response to TGF- and EGF in cancer cells. Notably, the effects of MT4-MMP on proliferation and EGFR activation did not rely on metalloprotease activity. Clinically, MT4-MMP and EGFR expression were correlated in human triple negative breast cancer specimens. Altogether our results identify MT4-MMP as a positive modifier of EGFR outside-in signaling that acts to cooperatively drive cancer cell proliferation. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression et localisation immunohistochimique de KISS1 et de son récepteur GPR54 : étude du tissu thyroïdien non tumoral et d'une série de patients opérés d'un cancer thyroïdien papillaire
VALDES SOCIN, Hernan Gonzalo ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg; SCAGNOL, Irène ULg et al

in Abstract book - Annales d'Endocrinologie : 31ème Congrès de la Société Française d'Endocrinologie, Lyon 5-8 novembre 2014 (2014, October)

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See detailC1q as a unique player in angiogenesis with therapeutic implication in wound healing.
Bossi, Fleur; Tripodo, Claudio; Rizzi, Lucia et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2014), 111(11), 4209-14

We have previously shown that C1q is expressed on endothelial cells (ECs) of newly formed decidual tissue. Here we demonstrate that C1q is deposited in wound-healing skin in the absence of C4 and C3 and ... [more ▼]

We have previously shown that C1q is expressed on endothelial cells (ECs) of newly formed decidual tissue. Here we demonstrate that C1q is deposited in wound-healing skin in the absence of C4 and C3 and that C1q mRNA is locally expressed as revealed by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization. C1q was found to induce permeability of the EC monolayer, to stimulate EC proliferation and migration, and to promote tube formation and sprouting of new vessels in a rat aortic ring assay. Using a murine model of wound healing we observed that vessel formation was defective in C1qa(-/-) mice and was restored to normal after local application of C1q. The mean vessel density of wound-healing tissue and the healed wound area were significantly increased in C1q-treated rats. On the basis of these results we suggest that C1q may represent a valuable therapeutic agent that can be used to treat chronic ulcers or other pathological conditions in which angiogenesis is impaired, such as myocardial ischemia. [less ▲]

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See detailCancer et droit à la maternité
Henry, Laurie ULg; Labied, Soraya ULg; Chiaradia, Fanny et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2014), 69(4), 188-193

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See detailStrategies for Using the Sheep Ovarian Cortex as a Model in Reproductive Medicine
Fransolet, Maïté ULg; Labied, Soraya ULg; Henry, Laurie ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2014), 9(3), 91073

Objective: To evaluate and compare the distribution and density of primordial follicles within a whole sheep ovary and to gain insight into how to overcome the impact of natural follicular heterogeneity ... [more ▼]

Objective: To evaluate and compare the distribution and density of primordial follicles within a whole sheep ovary and to gain insight into how to overcome the impact of natural follicular heterogeneity on the experimental results. Design: Histological study. Setting: Academic research center. Animals: Five- to nine-month-old ewes. Interventions: Freshly sampled whole sheep ovaries were collected and prepared for histological analysis. Main Outcome Measure(s): The follicular densities and distributions were determined for hematoxylin and eosin sections. A mathematical model was derived based on the follicle counts and Monte-Carlo simulations. Results: Heterogeneous distributions and densities of primordial follicles were identified 1) for distinct areas of the same ovarian cortex, 2) between the ovaries of the same animal and 3) across different ewes. A mathematical model based on the analysis of 37,153 primordial follicles from 8 different ovaries facilitated the estimation of the number of cortical biopsies and sections that had to be analyzed to overcome such heterogeneity. Conclusion: The influence of physiological follicular heterogeneity on experimental and clinical results can be overcome when a definite number of cortical pieces and sections are taken into consideration. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved computer-assisted analysis of the global lymphatic network in human cervical tissues.
Balsat, Cédric ULg; Signolle, Nicolas; GOFFIN, Frédéric ULg et al

in Modern Pathology : An Official Journal of the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc (2014), 27(6), 887-98

Lymphatic dissemination is a key event in cervical cancer progression and related tumor lymphatic markers are viewed as promising prognostic factor of nodal extension. However, validating such parameters ... [more ▼]

Lymphatic dissemination is a key event in cervical cancer progression and related tumor lymphatic markers are viewed as promising prognostic factor of nodal extension. However, validating such parameters requires an objective characterization of the lymphatic vasculature. Here, we performed a global analysis of the lymphatic network using a new computerized method applied on whole uterine cervical digital images. Sixty-eight cases of cervical neoplasia (12 CIN3, 10 FIGO stage 1A and 46 stage IB1) and 10 cases of normal cervical tissue were reacted with antibodies raised against D2-40, D2-40/p16 and D2-40/Ki67. Immunostained structures were automatically detected on whole slides. The lymphatic vessel density (D2-40), proliferating lymphatic vessel density (D2-40/ki67) and spatial lymphatic distribution in respect to the adjacent epithelium were assessed from normal cervix to early cervical cancer and correlated with lymphovascular space invasion and lymph node status. Prominent lymphatic vessel density and proliferating lymphatic vessel density are detected under the transformation zone of benign cervix and no further increase is noted during cancer progression. Notably, a shift of lymphatic vessel distribution toward the neoplastic edges is detected. In IB1 cervical cancer, although intra- and peritumoral lymphatic vessel density are neither correlated with lymphovascular space invasion nor with lymph node metastasis, a specific spatial distribution with more lymphatic vessels in the vicinity of tumor edges is predictive of lymphatic dissemination. Herein, we provide a new computerized method suitable for an innovative detailed analysis of the lymphatic network. We show that the transformation zone of the benign cervix acts as a baseline lymphangiogenic niche before the initiation of neoplastic process. During cancer progression, this specific microenvironment is maintained with lymphatic vessels even in closer vicinity to tumor cells.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 6 December 2013; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2013.195. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges in elastin density in different locations of the vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse.
DE LANDSHEERE, Laurent ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg et al

in International Urogynecology Journal & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (2014)

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to analyze the histomorphometric properties of the vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP). METHODS: In 15 women undergoing ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to analyze the histomorphometric properties of the vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP). METHODS: In 15 women undergoing surgery for POP, full-thickness biopsies were collected at two different sites of location from the anterior and/or posterior vaginal wall. Properties of the precervical area (POP-Q point C/D) were compared with the most distal portion of the vaginal wall (POP-Q point Ba/Bp) using histological staining and immunohistochemistry. The densities of total collagen fibers, elastic fibers, smooth muscle cells, and blood vessels were determined by combining high-resolution virtual imaging and computer-assisted digital image analysis. RESULTS: The mean elastin density was significantly decreased in the lamina propria and muscularis layer of the vaginal wall from the most distal portion of the prolapsed vaginal wall compared with the precervical area. This difference was statistically significant in the lamina propria for both anterior (8.4 +/- 1.2 and 12.1 +/- 2.0, p = 0.048) and posterior (6.8 +/- 0.5 and 10.1 +/- 1.4, p = 0.040) locations, and in the muscularis for the anterior (5.2 +/- 0.4 and 8.4 +/- 1.2, p = 0.009) vaginal wall. There were no statistically significant differences in the mean densities of collagen fibers, smooth muscle cells or blood vessels between the two locations. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed changes in elastin density in two different locations of the vaginal wall from women with POP. The histomorphometric properties of the vaginal wall can be variable from one place to another in the same patient. This result supports the existence of most vulnerable locations within the vaginal wall and the potential benefit of site-specific prolapse surgery. [less ▲]

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See detailGene expression pattern of synovial cells from inflammatory and normal areas of osteoarthritis synovial membrane.
Lambert, Cécile ULg; Dubuc, Jean-Emile; Montell, Eulalia et al

in Arthritis and Rheumatism (2014), sous presse

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the gene expression pattern of synovial cells from inflammatory (I) or normal/reactive (N/R) areas of a synovial membrane harvested from the same ... [more ▼]

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the gene expression pattern of synovial cells from inflammatory (I) or normal/reactive (N/R) areas of a synovial membrane harvested from the same osteoarthritis (OA) patient. Methods: Synovial tissues were obtained from 12 knee OA patients at the time of total knee replacement. The inflammatory status of the synovial membrane was characterized according to macroscopic criteria and sorted as N/R and I. Biopsies were cultured separately for 7 days. Microarray gene expression profiling between N/R and I areas was performed. Western blot and immunohistochemistry confirmed the identified genes that were differentially expressed. Results: 896 differentially expressed genes between N/R and I zones were identified. The key pathways were related to inflammation, cartilage metabolism, Wnt signaling and angiogenesis. In the inflammatory network, TREM1 and S100A9 were strongly up-regulated. MMP-3 and -9, cathepsin H and S were significantly up-regulated in the cartilage catabolism pathway, whereas the most up-regulated anabolism enzyme was HAS1. Wnt-5A and LRP5 were up-regulated whereas FZD2 and DKK3 were down-regulated in the Wnt signaling. Finally, STC1, a protein involved in angiogenesis was identified as the most up-regulated gene in I zones compared to N/R zones. Conclusion: This study is the first to identify different expression pattern between two areas of the synovial membrane in the same patient. These differences concern several key pathways involved in OA pathogenesis. This analysis also provides information regarding new genes and proteins as potential targets for the future therapeutic. (c) 2013 American College of Rheumatology. [less ▲]

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See detailHistology of the vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse: a literature review.
DE LANDSHEERE, Laurent ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg; Richelle, Betty ULg et al

in International Urogynecology Journal (2013), 24(12), 2011-20

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The pathophysiology of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is incompletely understood. The purpose of this study is to describe the current knowledge about histology of the vaginal ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The pathophysiology of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is incompletely understood. The purpose of this study is to describe the current knowledge about histology of the vaginal wall and its possible involvement in the pathogenesis of pelvic organ prolapse. METHODS: Eligible studies were selected through a MEDLINE search covering January 1986 to December 2012. The research was limited to English-language publications. RESULTS: Investigations of changes in the vaginal tissue that occur in women with genital prolapse are currently still limited and produced contrary results. The heterogeneity of the patients and the control groups in terms of age, parity and hormonal status, of the localization of biopsies and the histological methods as well as the lack of validation of the quantification procedures do not allow clear and definitive conclusions to be drawn. CONCLUSIONS: This review shows that current knowledge of the histological changes observed in women with POP are inconclusive and relatively limited. More studies are needed in this specific field to better understand the mechanisms that lead to POP. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of potential new targets for the diagnosis and/or the treatment of osteoarthritis
Lambert, Cécile ULg; Dubuc, J.-E.; Montell, E. et al

in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (2013, April), 21(Supplement April 2013),

Purpose: Synovial inflammation plays a key role in the pathophysiology process of osteoarthritis (OA). We have previously compared the gene expression pattern of synovial cells isolated from inflammatory ... [more ▼]

Purpose: Synovial inflammation plays a key role in the pathophysiology process of osteoarthritis (OA). We have previously compared the gene expression pattern of synovial cells isolated from inflammatory (I) or normal/reactive (N/R) areas of a synovial membrane harvested from the same OA patient. We identified a large number of mediators belonging to key pathways involved in OA pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to validate different potential new targets for the diagnosis and/or the treatment OA. Methods: Synovial cells (SC) were isolated from synovial specimens obtained from OA patients undergoing knee replacement. The inflammatory status of the synovial membrane was characterized according to macroscopic criteria. The biopsies from N/R and I areas were cultured separately for a period of 7 days. Microarray gene expression profiling between N/R and I areas was performed. The biological relevance of up- and down-regulated genes was analyzed with Ingenuity Pathways Analysis. Western blot and immunohistochemistry confirmed the identified genes most differentially expressed in the key pathways. The production of the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM1), the alarmin S100 calcium binding protein A9 (S100A9), the wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 5A (Wnt-5A) and the stanniocalcin 1 (STC1) were evaluated by Western blot. S100A9, hyaluronan synthase-1 (HAS1) and STC1 expression and localization were investigated by immunohistochemistry. Results: 896 genes differentially expressed in N/R and I areas were identified. The key pathways were related to inflammation, cartilage metabolism, Wnt signaling and angiogenesis. In the inflammatory gene pattern, TREM1 and S100A9 were strongly upregulated. We validated the production of these proteins in OA synovial biopsies by Western blot. TREM1 and S100A9 were increased in I compared to N/R synovial cells culture. S100A9 was observed in the perivascular area and in sublining cells in I synovial biopsies, but not in N/R biopsies. An increased staining was also observed in the intima lining layer of I when compared to N/R biopsies. The most upregulated anabolism enzyme in I synovial biopsies was HAS1. Using immunohistochemistry, we observed in I areas an increase of the HAS1-positive cells mainly in the intima lining. We also studied the protein production of Wnt-5A, the most upregulated intermediate of Wnt signaling pathway. The protein level was increased in I compared to N/R areas. Finally, in the angiogenesis pathway, one the most u-regulated gene was STC1. A significant increase of STC1 production was observed in I areas compared to N/R areas by Western blot. This result was also supported by the immunohistochemical analysis. In I area, the staining for STC1 was more intense in perivascular and sublining cells. Conclusions: Synovial membrane inflammation is a key target for OA treatments. In this work, we have identified proteins involved in the synovitis pathways like angiogenesis, cells infiltration and matrix remodeling. These proteins could be targeted by drugs and used as companion biomarkers for evaluating their efficacy. Although qualitative, our results could also yield to the identification of markers of the disease. This investigation has to be further pursued. [less ▲]

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See detailIsoform 111 of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF111) improves angiogenesis of ovarian tissue xenotransplantation
Labied, Soraya ULg; Delforge, Yves ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg et al

in Transplantation (2013), 95(3), 426-433

Background: Cryopreservation of cortex ovarian tissue before anti-cancer therapy is a promising technique for fertility preservation mainly in children and young women. Ischemia in the early stage after ... [more ▼]

Background: Cryopreservation of cortex ovarian tissue before anti-cancer therapy is a promising technique for fertility preservation mainly in children and young women. Ischemia in the early stage after ovarian graft causes massive follicle loss by apoptosis. VEGF111 is a recently described VEGF isoform that does not bind to the extracellular matrix, diffuse extensively and is resistant to proteolysis. These properties confer a significantly higher angiogenic potential to VEGF111 in comparison to the other VEGF isoforms. Methods: We evaluated the morphology of cryopreserved sheep ovarian cortex, grafted in the presence or absence of VEGF111. Ovarian cortex biopsies were embedded in type I collagen with or without VEGF111 addition before transplantation to SCID mice ovaries. Transplants were retrieved 3 days or 3 weeks later. Follicular density, vasculature network, haemoglobin content and cell proliferation were analysed. Results: Addition of VEGF111 increased density of functional capillaries (p=0.01) 3 days after grafting. By double immunostaining of Ki-67 and von Willebrand Factor (vWF) we demonstrated that proliferating endothelial cells were found in 83% of the VEGF111 group when compared to 33% in the control group (p=0.001). This angio-stimulation was associated with a significant enhancement of haemoglobin content (p=0.03). Three weeks after transplantation, the number of primary follicles was significantly higher in VEGF111 grafts (p=0.02). Conclusion: VEGF111 accelerates blood vessels recruitment, functional angiogenesis and improves the viability of ovarian cortex by limiting ischemia and ovarian cortex damage. [less ▲]

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See detailSunitinib inhibits inflammatory corneal lymphangiogenesis.
Detry, Benoît ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg; Erpicum, Charlotte ULg et al

in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (2013), 54(5), 3082-93

PURPOSE: To evaluate the antilymphangiogenic potential of multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib in corneal neovascularization (NV). METHODS: Inflammatory corneal NV was induced by thermal ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: To evaluate the antilymphangiogenic potential of multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib in corneal neovascularization (NV). METHODS: Inflammatory corneal NV was induced by thermal cauterization applied in the central cornea of mice, to which sunitinib malate was daily administered by gavage or not. At days 6, 11, or 17 post cauterization, lymphatic and blood vessels, as well as inflammatory cells were immunostained and quantified in whole-mounted corneas. RT-PCRs were performed to evidence VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, placental growth factor (PlGF), and soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-1 and -2 (sVEGFR-1, sVEGFR-2) expressions. Macrophages were isolated from mice peritoneal cavity following thioglycollate injection to produce conditioned medium. The effects of sunitinib were evaluated in vitro in the aortic and lymphatic ring assays in the presence or not of macrophage conditioned medium. RESULTS: Sunitinib treatment drastically reduced pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. Reduced F4/80+ cell infiltration was evidenced in sunitinib-treated mice and was associated to decreased VEGF-A (by 50%, P < 0.01) and VEGF-C (by 35%, P < 0.01) expressions, while VEGF-D and sVEGFR-2 expressions were not affected. In vitro, sunitinib dose-dependently inhibited aortic ring outgrowth, but failed to affect lymphangiogenesis in the lymphatic ring assay. However, macrophage conditioned medium-enhanced angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were both strongly counteracted by sunitinib treatment. Mechanistically, sunitinib blocked VEGFR-2 phosphorylation induced by VEGF-A released by macrophages. CONCLUSIONS: Sunitinib exerts antihemangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic effects in vivo by reducing F4/80+ cell recruitment and interacting with their released factors. [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence for cross-talk between the LH receptor and LH during implantation in mice
Gridelet, Virginie ULg; Tsampalas, Marie; Berndt, Sarah et al

in Reproduction, Fertility and Development (2013), 25

The present study investigated the first interaction that occurs between the blastocyst and endometrium during implantation. Given the ethical objections to studying implantation in humans, a mouse model ... [more ▼]

The present study investigated the first interaction that occurs between the blastocyst and endometrium during implantation. Given the ethical objections to studying implantation in humans, a mouse model was used to study the dialogue between luteinising hormone (LH) and luteinising hormone receptor (LHCGR). Several studies performed on LHCGR-knockout mice have generated controversy regarding the importance of the dialogue between LH and LHCGR during implantation. There has been no demonstration of a bioactive LH-like signal produced by the murine blastocyst. The first aim of the present study was to examine and quantify, using radioimmunoassay, the generation of a bioactive LH signal by the murine blastocyst. We went on to examine and quantify endometrial Lhcgr expression to validate the mouse model. Expression of LHCGR in mouse uteri was demonstrated using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. To quantify the expression of Lh in the mouse blastocyst and Lhcgr in the endometrium, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time quantitative (q) RT-PCR were performed. The results demonstrate that Lhcgr expression in BALB/c mouse endometrial epithelium is increased at the time of implantation and indicate that LHCGR may contribute to the implantation process. In support of this hypothesis, we identified a bioactive LH signal at the time of murine blastocyst implantation. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of the gamma 2 chain of laminin-332 in eutopic and ectopic endometrium of patients with endometriosis.
Locci, Rosella; Nisolle, Michelle ULg; Angioni, Stefano et al

in Reproductive biology and endocrinology (2013), 11(1), 94

BACKGROUND: Endometrial cells, which are shed by retrograde menstruation, may aberrantly express molecules involved in invasion and migration, leading to endometriosis. The aim of this study was to ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Endometrial cells, which are shed by retrograde menstruation, may aberrantly express molecules involved in invasion and migration, leading to endometriosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of the laminin gamma 2 chain (LAMC2) in the tissues of women with and without endometriosis. METHODS: Endometrial biopsy specimens were collected from healthy volunteers and from endometriosis patients. Biopsy specimens from the corresponding endometriotic lesions were also collected. The expression of laminin gamma 2 chain was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS: Endometrial tissue from women with or without endometriosis showed constitutive expression of LAMC2 mRNA throughout the menstrual cycle. A higher mRNA level was observed in ectopic endometrium (Ec) from women with endometriosis compared with eutopic endometrium (Eu) from women with endometriosis. Immunohistochemistry revealed a varied pattern of laminin gamma 2 chain expression, with increased epithelial expression in eutopic endometrium from women with endometriosis compared with those without endometriosis. CONCLUSIONS: The altered expression of laminin gamma 2 chain in eutopic endometrium from women with endometriosis may provide new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment. [less ▲]

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