Adult Tissue Angiogenesis: Evidence For Negative Regulation By Estrogen In The Uterus.

1220 words - 5 pages

Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels are formed. It does not usually actively occur in adults, with the only non-pathological exception being in the female reproductive organs. Angiogenesis in these tissues is necessary to supply and support the endometrial growth which occurs during different stages in the ovaries and uterus (Yasuda et al, 1998). The ability to understand and manipulate angiogenic factors, therefore controlling angiogenesis would be a major step in controlling different carcinomas and diseases of the female reproductive tract (Fraser, 2003)In the past research has indicated that stimulation of uterine angiogenesis is induced by estrogen (Hyder and Stancel, 1999). This hypothesis was suggested based on the findings that estrogen(E) rapidly increases vascular permeability, which is then followed by increased angiogenesis. However, Ma et al (2001) have found that while E does causes vascular permeability it actually inhibits angiogenesis (negative regulation), and that it is progesterone(P4) that is responsible for stimulation of angiogenesis, itself having little effect on vascular permeability in the uterus. One of the ways this is achieved is through up-regulated and rapidly induced expression of the VEGF and FLK1 genes in response to the hormones. Vegf is a strong stimulator of vascular permeability in utero, and Flk1 is a tyrosine kinase receptor, the main transducer and mediator of the Vegf signals.Commencing with a succinct and comprehensible abstract Ma et al begin by indicating the importance of vascular permeability and angiogenesis in pregnancy, hence establishing the relevance of this study in the field of reproductive research. Through discussion of the roles of the appropriate hormones they clearly justify their research in the fact that definitive knowledge of the functions of these steroids 'remains elusive'. However, having used a mouse model they neglect to relate their findings back to a human model either in the abstract or the rest of the article, barring a brief paragraph in the conclusion which briefly mentions related diseases and conditions affecting pregnancy and the uterus in humans. This does not allow the reader to gain an adequate understanding of the implications this research will have in man.The aim of this study is clearly presented ('to explore the regulation of angiogenesis in response to steroid hormonal changes in vivo') in both the abstract and the introduction, although a clear hypothesis indicating what the researches are expecting is not presented anywhere within the report. The abstract concludes with a brief summary of the findings in relation to E, P4 and related factors.An indication of the breadth of this study is provided in the introduction through a listing of the different approaches used eg. Molecular, genetic, physiological and pharmacological. It then continues in a coherent manner providing background information and relevant explanations (including multiple...

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