Cofilin and Slingshot Localization in the Epithelium of Uterine Endometrium Changes During the Menstrual Cycle and in Endometriosis
journal contributionposted on 01.11.2013, 00:00 by Kirsten Morris, Ivanna Ihnatovych, Emily Ionetz, Jennifer Reed, Andrea Braundmeier, Zuzana Strakova
Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for epithelial cell polarity and protein trafficking within human uterine epithelium. The actin-binding protein cofilin is involved in regulation of actin dynamics by promoting actin branching and cytoskeleton reorganization. Dual immunohistochemical staining of cofilin and G-actin (represented by DNAse I staining) revealed cofilin-G-actin colocalization in the apical side of luminal epithelial cells of human uterine endometrium during the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Interestingly, during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle cofilin was only present on the basolateral side. To determine whether the disease endometriosis causes a different pattern of actin remodeling, we investigated an established baboon model of induced endometriosis. The cofilin pattern in the secretory phase of baboons with endometriosis was similar to the proliferative phase in normal animals; cofilin was observed in the apical parts of luminal and glandular epithelium. A phosphatase regulating the activity of cofilin, slingshot (SSH1), revealed a similar staining pattern within these tissues. These patterns were confirmed through quantitative image analysis. Quantification of mRNA detected upregulated SSH1 and suggested a progesterone resistance related pattern of nuclear steroid hormone receptors, but no change in membrane progesterone receptors (mPR alpha or mPR beta) was observed in endometriosis. Our data indicate that the severe dyssynchrony during menstrual cycle phases in endometriosis is connected with improper cytoskeleton rearrangements. We suggest that cofilin-mediated actin reorganization in uterine epithelial cells might be important in preparation for blastocyst implantation; dysregulation of this reorganization may lead to decreased fertility in endometriosis.