Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is one of growth factors that are thought to mediate the stimulatory effects of estrogen on the proliferation of uterine epithelial cells. The present study was attempted to obtain direct evidence for the mitogenic effects of EGF on uterine epithelial cells, and to prove that EGF and EGF receptors are expressed in these cells. Mouse uterine epithelial cells were isolated from immature female mice and cultured with or without EGF for 5 days. EGF (1 to 100 ng/ml) significantly increased the number of uterine epithelial cells, and the maximal growth (141.9±8.3% of controls) was obtained at a dose of 10 ng/ml. In addition, EGF (0.1 to 100 ng/ml) increased the number of DNA-synthesizing cells immunocytochemically detected by bromodeoxyuridine uptake to the nucleus. Northern blot analysis revealed that the uterine epithelial cells expressed both EGF mRNA (4.7 kb) and EGF receptor mRNAs (10.5, 6.6, and 2.7 kb) These results suggest that the proliferation of uterine epithelial cells is regulated by the paracrine and/ or autocrine action of EGF. Our previous study demonstrated the mitogenic effect of IGF-I on uterine epithelial cells. To examine whether the EGF-and IGF-I signaling act at the same level in the regulation of the proliferation of uterine epithelial cells, the cultured cells were simultaneously treated with IGF-I and EGF. IGF-I was found to additively stimulate the mitogenic effects of EGF, suggesting that the EGF-induced growth of uterine epithelial cells is distinct from IGF-I-induced growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology