Tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) protein expression in the human endometrium
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Tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) gene expression, a neurotrophic factor receptor expressed in the brain and ovary, has recently been identified in deep infiltrating endometriosis by gene array. TrkB is thought to be important in resistance to anchorage independent apoptosis (ANOIKIS) and thus could be important in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. However, TrkB protein expression in the eutopic endometrium of women with and without endometriosis is unknown. Therefore, we examined TrKB protein expression in the endometrium by Western blot (n = 50) and immunohistochemistry (n = 17). Immunoblots of endometrial biopsies were prepared from women with endometriosis (n = 21) vs. healthy controls (n = 29) undergoing benign gynecological surgery at McMaster University Medical Centre. TrkB protein expression was significantly higher in immunoblots from women with endometriosis compared to women without endometriosis. In samples of archived paraffin-embedded endometrial tissue TrkB was localized to the cytoplasm of epithelial cells of the eutopic endometrium from women with endometriosis (n = 7) and without endometriosis (n = 10). We conclude that TrkB protein is expressed in human endometrium. Our results also suggest that TrkB expression may be greater in women with endometriosis compared to women without endometriosis.
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