Uterine leiomyomas or fibroids are common among women of reproductive age, but their biology is poorly understood. The PTH-related protein (PTHrP) has been identified in a number of sites throughout the reproductive tract. We, therefore, examined whether fibroids express PTHrP mRNA and compared their level of expression with that in normal myometrium. Total RNA prepared from fibroid tissue and corresponding normal myometrium from seven patients was examined by RNase protection analysis. In all cases, fibroid and myometrial tissue expressed PTHrP, and in six of seven cases, PTHrP expression was higher in fibroids than in normal myometrium. Cultured fibroid cells from four patients also expressed higher levels of PTHrP mRNA than corresponding cultured normal myometrial cells. Tissue extracts from eight patients and conditioned medium from cultured cells from nine patients were examined for PTHrP immunoreactivity using a two-site immunoradiometric assay. In tissue extracts and conditioned medium, the mean PTHrP concentration was significantly higher in fibroids than normal myometrium. Immunohistochemical staining of fibroid and myometrial tissue was positive for PTHrP. Finally, PTHrP (1-34) induced a dose-dependent increase in cAMP in fibroid and myometrial cells in vitro. These findings suggest that PTHrP may have an autocrine/paracrine function in regulating myometrial physiology and may play a role in regulating fibroid growth or differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical