Rat Endometrial Stromal-Epithelial Response to Estrogen Infusion

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title





Morphologic changes at the interface of rat endometrial luminal epithelial cells and the stromal cells immediately adjacent were examined and correlated with hypertrophy of the epithelial cells during estradiol (E2) infusion (I μg E2/24 h). White the lamina densa in castrate endometrium was thread-like, it became thicker and apparently more granular in some areas below the luminal epithelium during E2 infusion. However, no changes were seen in the intensity of laminin-like immunoreactivity at various time points up to 96 hours after beginning infusion, suggesting that these alterations were due to changes in nonlaminin components. The stromal cells adjacent to the basal lamina in the castrate state had cell processes extending toward the epithelium that terminated on the basal lamina. Under estrogen infusion, stromal cell bodies migrated close to and became oriented along the basal lamina. No interruptions were seen in the lamina densa or in the laminin-like immunoreactivity in the basal lamina. Thus, there were no direct morphologic interactions betweeen epithelial and stromal cells induced by estrogen. Some of the stromal cells developed a dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum and some developed multiple elaborate processes within 41 hours after minipump implantation. Within 28 hours, nuclear hypertrophy had occurred in 15% of the epithelial cell layer. If interactions occur between stromal and epithelial cells, and morphologic evidence presented here suggests they do, then all such interactions are through an intact lamina densa-laminin layer, and any chemical mediators affecting cells on opposite sides of the lamina densa must migrate through it.