Expression of vigilin in the uterus of ovariectomized steroid-treated rats and during the estrous cycle

Elisabeth Rumpel*, Charli Kruse, Peter K. Müller, Wolfgang Kühnel

*Corresponding author for this work
10 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of vigilin in the uterus of rats was investigated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry and compared to the ultrastructural features of the endometrial cells. Vigilin could not be detected in the uteri of ovariectomized rats. Administration of estrogen, alone or in combination with progesterone, significantly stimulated the expression of vigilin, mainly in the luminal and glandular epithelial cells. Ultrastructurally, these cells show the morphological features of an increased protein synthesis. Untreated mature rats demonstrate a cyclic pattern of vigilin expression with high levels during the estrogen-dominated proestrus and early estrus stages and low levels at metestrus. The down-regulation of vigilin starts with the occurrence of apoptosis and autophagocytosis in the epithelium, but precedes the vanishing of the secretory granules. At diestrus the vigilin expression is intermediate and the vigilin staining of the epithelial cells is reduced. However, the endometrial fibroblasts show a faint staining. Morphologically, these fibroblasts are characterized by large euchromatic nuclei and dilated cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. The results suggest that in the uterus of rats the expression of vigilin is stimulated by estrogen. Under the experimental conditions chosen no influence of progesterone on vigilin expression was detected.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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